Elevated plasma levels of neurofilament light (NfL) protein in early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) were tied to an increased risk of disability worsening, a large case-control study suggested.

MS patients with high plasma NfL, a measure of axonal damage, were 40% to 70% more likely to have worsening disability in the next year, and were more likely to have long-term, sustained disability, reported Ali Manouchehrinia, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and co-authors, in Neurology.

“These results suggest that elevated levels of these proteins measured early on in the course of the disease may help us to predict how the disease will develop and monitor how treatment is working,” Manouchehrinia said in a statement.

More research is needed before a blood test could be used routinely in clinical settings “but our results are encouraging,” he noted. “In disease like MS that is so unpredictable and varies so much from one person to the next, having a noninvasive blood test like this could be very valuable, especially since treatments are most effective in the earliest stages of the disease,” he said.

Continue to read this article in its entirety: Bio Marker in MS Research