Technological Advancements Improving, Expanding Capabilities of Antibody Testing: Sean Pittock, MD


The director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology discussed the technological capabilities the center has, including the improved use of neural antibody testing. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

"Using the living cell, we have optimized the sensitivity and specificity for a water channel assay to 100%. Nobody else has that. We then use flow cytometry and a variety of different color agents to allow us to detect whether or not a patient’s antibodies are binding to those living cells."

Mayo Clinic has been revolutionizing care and management for patients with autoimmune disorders for more than 20 years, most notably through the discovery of a critical serum antibody biomarker, the NMO antibody (NMO-IgG). Since then, it has been among the leading institutions in researching and validating several critical biomarkers, while offering comprehensive, phenotype-specific, neural antibody testing. In addition to the Center for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Autoimmune Neurology, Mayo has an autoimmune neurology clinic, which is the first of its kind specifically focused on people with autoimmune neurological diseases.

Given the limitations of neural antibody testing, the laboratory also evaluates standard analytical performance characteristics such as precision, accuracy, reportable range, reference range, and analytical specificity, and, notably, incorporates a rigorous evaluation of diverse samples. There are several ongoing projects within the MS center, notes Sean Pittock, MD, including the development of a high throughput platform for comprehensive cytokine and chemokine analyses. Pittock, director of the Center for MS and Autoimmune Neurology, recently sat down with NeurologyLive® to provide an oversight on the technological capabilities of the center and how they change the way clinicians should view and treat autoimmune disorders.

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