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January 25, 2019: At Journal Club, our experts sat down to discuss a paper on serum GFAP levels as a potential disease biomarker.
Abdelhak et al 2018 - Serum GFAP as a biomarker for disease severity in multiple sclerosis
GFAP is a protein expressed in astrocytes that helps support their functions on the physiology of neurons and the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. This protein has previously been looked at as a biomarker in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients, but this group examined the possibility of using serum GFAP levels as a diagnostic tool. They found that GFAP was correlated with EDSS and lesion count in PPMS patients and was expressed differently in PPMS versus RRMS patients. This indicates that GFAP may be an easily accessible marker of disease progression in PPMS patients. Further study needs to be completed to verify these results long term.