Diagnosing Brain Disorders With a Simple, Fast Blood Test - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Diagnosing Brain Disorders With a Simple, Fast Blood Test

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Diagnosing Brain Disorders With A Simple And Fast Blood Test

    Dopamine is a chemical that plays a vital role in diseases like Parkinson’s and depression. But monitoring a person’s dopamine levels can be a cumbersome process that involves complicated MRI testing. Now a group of researchers believe they have found a quicker way. (Published Thursday, July 18, 2019)

    Dopamine is a chemical that plays a vital role in diseases like Parkinson's and depression. But monitoring a person's dopamine levels can be a cumbersome process that involves complicated MRI testing. Now a group of researchers believe they have found a quicker way.

    Statistics show that by the year 2020, nearly one million people in the U.S. will have Parkinson's disease. It is a difficult disease to diagnose and monitor.

    "Dopamine measurement plays an important role for people suffering from Parkinson's," said Debashis Chanda, Ph.D. Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida.

    Too little dopamine has been associated with Parkinson's and depression, but detecting dopamine takes time.

    Explaining the Yield Curve Inversion with Gummy Candy

    [NATL] Explaining the Yield Curve Inversion with Gummy Candy

    A yield curve inversion has been a reliable predictor in a coming recession, but what exactly is a yield curve inversion? We explain... using gummy candy.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019)

    "The traditional methods are very hard for people because we have to send it to laboratories and they have to look at cultures and stuff like that and that takes a lot of time," Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate student, Freya Mehta said.

    The results can usually take hours or even days. So Professor Chanda and his team developed the first ever rapid detector for dopamine. It only requires a few drops of blood and it gives results in seconds. Using this chip, plasma is separated from the blood.

    "And then when the plasma flows through that sodium oxide coated nano structure surface that dopamine selectively binds or gets captured by the surface," said Dr. Chanda.

    Using an infrared light, researchers can measure how much dopamine is concentrated in the blood. This method can be very useful in determining whether a medication is effective.

    "How do you adjust that person's medication, depends on the dopamine level in the brain," Dr. Chanda explained.

    Chanda says this is just the first step in giving people the ability to monitor their own brain activity.

    Bulletproof Backpack Sales Spike in Wake of Recent Shootings

    [NATL] Bulletproof Backpack Sales Spike During Back-to-School Season

    Do children need bulletproof backpacks as they head back to school? Many families say yes—sales of bulletproof backpacks, effective against handguns, have spiked by 200%, according to manufacturers. Child psychologists, however, say the bags can carry a mixed message for children. 

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019)

    Professor Chanda's research team is also using the same technology to perform experiments to detect for viruses, like the Dengue virus.

    Get the latest from NBC DFW anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android