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Beer-Sheva, Israel, February 9, 2021 – Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new method for rapidly diagnosing brain blood vessel pathology that may lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, as well as other neurological and psychiatric conditions, including epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and stroke. The novel method is based on analysis of EEG patterns using proprietary algorithms and was invented by Dr. Dan Milikovsky and Prof. Alon Friedman, MD-PhD, Departments of Physiology and Cell Biology, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The novel diagnostic method is based on findings from the lab of Prof. Friedman that patients with Alzheimer's disease and other brain conditions display nonconvulsive epileptic seizure-like activity that can be detected by EEG recordings. The study was published in the highly ranked Science Translational Medicine Journal[i]. This abnormal activity reflects pathological changes in dysfunction of the brain blood vessels, which contribute, according to recent studies, to the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative and other neuro-psychiatric disorders.
"Research from our lab and others, shows that the pathological changes in the brain blood vessels, which are usually referred to as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), contribute to the formation of Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders. Since dysfunction of the BBB is also a key component in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, we hypothesized that BBB dysfunction in Alzheimer's patients would also trigger abnormal brain activity that could be detected by EEG, an accessible and affordable tool used in the clinic, and serve as a diagnostic method for these conditions," explained Prof. Friedman. "Indeed, we find abnormal, epileptic-like EEG recordings in many patients with Alzheimer's disease as well as epilepsy, which reflect brain blood vessel pathology and can serve both for diagnosis as well as a therapeutic target."
The technology was successfully tested on animal models and dozens of patients and is now been validated on large databases of EEG records of thousands of patients.
"This new approach for diagnosing neurological conditions based on analysis of changes of blood vessels in the brain can be valuable for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions, at the stage when treatment can still slow down disease progression. The technology offers a biomarker for immediate results and allows for the continuous monitoring of the progression of the neurological condition and response to treatment," said Josh Peleg, CEO of BGN Technologies. "We are now seeking a potential industry partner for the further development of this promising method for a variety of applications, from monitoring of ICU patients, to patients after stroke and head injuries and for the diagnosis of vascular pathology in early Alzheimer's disease."
About BGN Technologies
BGN Technologies is the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, the third largest university in Israel. BGN Technologies brings technological innovations from the lab to the market and fosters research collaborations and entrepreneurship among researchers and students. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, hi-tech, and cleantech, and has initiated leading technology hubs, incubators, and accelerators. Over the past decade, BGN Technologies has focused on creating long-term partnerships with multinational corporations such as Deutsche Telekom, Dell-EMC, PayPal, and Lockheed Martin, securing value and growth for Ben-Gurion University as well as the Negev region. For more information, visit the BGN Technologies website.
Global Media Liaison