Debilitating and often incurable, neurodegenerative diseases could affect over 12 million Americans by 2030 (1). Finding treatments – or, even better, cures – for these conditions is a high priority. But first, we need to understand them.
High levels of metal ions in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are currently thought to play a key role in protein misfolding – a hallmark of neurogenerative disorders – so a multinational team of researchers developed a method for simultaneous redox speciation of iron (II/III), manganese (II/III), and copper (I/II). Based on strong cation exchange chromatography and inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-sf-MS), the new method was optimized and tested using real CSF samples taken from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and neurologically healthy controls (2).
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