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Biomarkers. 2009 Sep;14(6):414-7. doi: 10.1080/13547500903056051.

Serum Nogo-A levels are not elevated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

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Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8018, USA.


Improved biomarkers would facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Muscle content of the neuritic outgrowth inhibitor Nogo-A is increased in patients with ALS and other denervating conditions. Seeking a less invasive diagnostic method, we sought to determine whether or not Nogo increases in the serum of ALS patients. We developed a dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay (DELFIA) protocol to screen serum samples from 172 ALS patients and 172 healthy controls for Nogo-A immunoreactivity. Unexpectedly, there was a trend toward decreased levels of serum Nogo-A in ALS. Mean serum Nogo-A level in ALS patients was 0.71 nM (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42-1.00), as opposed to 1.15 nM (95% CI 0.72-1.59) in healthy controls. A significantly larger percentage of healthy control sera (11.0% vs 4.7%) displayed markedly elevated levels of Nogo-A. Additional study is required to determine the factors that lead to elevated Nogo-A levels in a subset of both ALS patients and healthy controls.

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