Exciting news for Multiple Sclerosis patients and Neurologists who manage their care
OTTAWA, ON, January 28, 2021 EORLA (Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association) is pleased to announce that Blood Neurofilament Light Chain (NfL) is now available with #teamEORLA.
Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a major component of the axonal cytoskeleton and has been identified as a sensitive biomarker of neuronal damage. Recent evidence has shown utility in various conditions including multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The largest body of evidence has been generated in MS patients with its main utility in prognosis and follow-up, but of increasing importance, in monitoring response therapy.
EORLA holds a clinical diagnostic license from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide Blood NfL testing. Currently we are the only laboratory in Canada offering this test.
Dr. Ronald Booth, Clinical Biochemist with EORLA’s Division of Biochemistry at The Ottawa Hospital states “that the routine availability of blood NfL testing allows for more frequent disease monitoring and gives patients and physicians a tool to more closely monitor the progress of MS and provide a quicker response to any changes in disease. Changes in NfL will alert the physician earlier to possible treatment failure or progression and allow for earlier clinical management decisions.”
About Neurofilament Light Chain (NfL)
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, characterized by loss of motor and sensory function resulting from immune-mediated inflammation, demyelination and subsequent axonal damage. This disease-related axonal damage releases NfL into the CSF and blood proportional to the amount of axonal damage.
NfL blood testing can identify acute and chronic neuronal damage in early MS and increasing NfL can predict disease worsening and brain and spinal cord atrophy in MS. A decrease in NfL correlates with positive response to treatment. This test can be used to monitor patients, reducing the need for yearly MRIs in stable patients and importantly, select those in need of a more urgent MRI.
It may also have the potential to identify very early MS patients at risk of imminent progression and allow for earlier treatment, as well as identifying poor prognostic patients earlier, affording them the opportunity for more aggressive therapy, when it is most likely to have the greatest impact.
“Unlike MRI, which is focused only on the brain and upper spinal cord and requires tedious comparison with previous scans to ascertain differences, blood NfL reflects damage wherever it occurs in the nervous system and measurements are consistent and reproducible. The availability of NfL for our patients ensures that we have the latest information about their disease to help guide appropriate treatment at the beginning and to adjust medications should they be sub-optimal in controlling their disease.” Dr. Mark Freedman, Director, Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Neurology, The Ottawa Hospital
Clinical information on Neurofilament Light Chain testing can be found here and a link to the required requisition can be found here.
For further information on this exciting new technology, please contact:
Dr. Ronald A. Booth, PhD, DCC, FCACB, FACB
Division of Biochemistry
EORLA & The Ottawa Hospital
Associate Professor, Deptartment of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Ottawa
Tel: 613-737-8899 Ex. 79095 | firstname.lastname@example.org