SAN DIEGO, PRINCETON, N.J. and BOSTON, Sept. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:OTCQB:AEMD), and its diagnostic subsidiary, Exosome Sciences, Inc. (ESI), announced today that a clinical collaboration with the Boston University (BU) CTE Center has been established to advance a blood-based diagnostic candidate that could identify Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in living individuals.
CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that has been found at autopsy in former National Football League (NFL) players. At present, CTE can only be diagnosed through postmortem autopsy. The BU CTE Center has been a leading CTE research center since the disease was first defined.
Aethlon Medical develops targeted therapeutic devices to address infectious disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. ESI (Aethlon subsidiary) develops exosome-based solutions to diagnose and monitor cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Earlier this year, Aethlon disclosed that ESI researchers had successfully isolated exosome-based biomarkers transporting tau protein across the blood-brain barrier and into the circulatory system. The hallmark of CTE is an excess of accumulation of tau in the brain.
In the study, ESI researchers are evaluating and defining exosome and exosomal tau populations in blood samples collected from participants enrolled in the DETECT (Diagnosing and Evaluating Traumatic Encephalopathy Using Clinical Tests) study, under the direction of Dr. Robert Stern, Director of Clinical Research at the BU CTE Center.
The DETECT study is the first research project on CTE ever funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The ultimate goal of the study is to develop methods, including blood-based tests, that could diagnose CTE during life. The study has enrolled former NFL players (ages 40-69) and same-age “control” athletes who played non-contact sports.
“Our colleagues at the CTE Center are premier thought leaders in the CTE field and have been instrumental in changing how the NFL and other high-risk sports respond to head trauma,” stated Aethlon Medical CEO Jim Joyce, who also serves as Executive Chairman of ESI. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity to establish a blood-based test that could identify CTE in living individuals.”
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. CTE affects boxers, football players and other athletes who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. Repetitive trauma triggers a progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau. Symptoms of the neurodegeneration can develop months, years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement. The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia.
About The CTE Center
The CTE Center is part of the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BU ADC), established in 1996 as one of 29 centers in the US funded by the National Institutes of Health to advance research on Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. In collaboration with other NIH-funded ADC’s and the non-profit Sports Legacy Institute, CTE Center conducts high-impact, innovative research on CTE, including its neuropathology and pathogenesis, clinical presentation, genetics and other risk factors, biomarkers, methods of detection during life, and methods of prevention and treatment. Additional information can be found online at: www.bu.edu/cte
Source – Exosome Sciences