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BNA 2023 | Seed amplification assays in tauopathies

Seed amplification assays are able to detect minute amounts of self-propagating protein aggregates in diverse biological specimens. Alpha-synuclein seed amplification assays have recently taken off in the Parkinson’s disease space, after being shown capable of detecting early Parkinson’s disease with high sensitivity and specificity. Boyd Ghosh, MBBS, PhD, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK, comments on the promise of seed amplification assays for tauopathies. Tau RT-QuIC assays are under development for 3R, 4R, and 3R+4R tau aggregates. Different tauopthies demonstrate preferential deposition of different tau isoforms and as such, the resultant tau constructs show distinct seeding activities. In this way, seedings assays may not only differentiate individuals with abnormal tau from controls, but also distinguish between different tauopathies. Detection of tau seeds using these assays has now been achieved in antemortem cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens, as well as postmortem tissue samples. This interview took place at The BNA 2023 International Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, UK.

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Boyd Ghosh reports the following disclosures:
President of the BNPA (British Neuropsychiatric Association)
Trustee and research committee member PSP Association
Lectured for UCB and GSK on atypical Parkinsonism
Advisory board for NICE, UCB and Biogen
Drug trials for Biogen, Takeda, UCB, Pfizer, TauRx, Novartis and Laboratoire Français de Fractionnement et de Biotechnologies