Labcorp has introduced a new blood test that can help detect neurodegeneration and neuronal injury.

The new Neurofilament Light Chain (NfL) blood test is developed to enable healthcare professionals to identify and verify neurodegenerative disease signs, thereby accelerating diagnosis and treatment for patients.

NfL is a neuron-specific protein that is regularly released into the extracellular space. According to the company website, neuronal injury and neurodegeneration can cause NfL levels to increase above baseline.

The test measures this biomarker to help in the diagnosis of diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as brain injuries.

Labcorp Diagnostics president and chief medical officer Dr Brian Caveney said: “NfL is a simple, objective blood test that provides direct evidence of neuronal damage.

“In making this test widely available, Labcorp is supporting neurologists with a tool they’ve been asking for that enables faster diagnoses, better treatment decisions and improved patient care. It’s a major step forward in the monitoring and identification of patients with neuronal injury due to disease or trauma.”

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With the launch, the company aims to make the test widely available for physicians to facilitate the detection of neurodegenerative disorders.

Labcorp neurology business segment and discipline director Dr Joseph Volpe said: “This test will be impactful in helping many patients.

“Serial use of NfL testing can help doctors to follow trends that indicate the effectiveness of medicines or therapies, or whether there is continued injury or disease progression.”

The new NfL test involves a standard blood collection, which can be done at a hospital, physician’s office or Labcorp’s patient service centres.

Recently, Labcorp also announced plans to provide a monkeypox virus test using its polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based orthopoxvirus assay.