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NEW YORK (360Dx) – An assay that has been in use for more than a decade as an aid in diagnosis of prion diseases is inching closer to being available for early detection of Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia, according to separate groups of researchers working on a similar test for these applications.

Two recent tests that use multi-well plate-based reactions and a method called seed-amplification have provided the first prototypes for ultrasensitive and specific detection of α-synuclein aggregates, a marker of Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia, in patients’ cerebrospinal fluid.

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