Serologic Assay For Silent Brain Ischemia

Tech ID: 29502 / UC Case 2016-234-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Neurology have identified a series of blood-secreted protein biomarkers indicative of cerebral endothelial blood vessel damage that occur in the setting of obesity and metabolic diseases.


Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms -- obesity, increased blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, and elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels -- that can occur individually or together, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, particularly silent stroke. Although not causing outward identifiable symptoms, a silent stroke still causes damage predominantly to the brain white matter and places the patient at increased risk for both transient ischemic attack and major stroke in the future.

Currently, clinicians use brain MRI after the onset of clinical symptoms to diagnose cerebral microvascular disease. This approach is highly limited and only useful to prevent additional damage, rather than to identify patients at risk. Those patients could potentially benefit from more aggressive pharmacologic and lifestyle interventions well before lasting brain damage has set in. The current field standard for predictive assays for stroke is based on patients arriving to medical providers at the time of acute stroke, instead of patients with a silent form of stroke that contributes to disability, dementia, and death. In addition, none of these predictive assays have been based on discovery-based research, instead using a case-control methodology that is limited. These assays also generally use a single molecular profile, not an array of targets.


Researchers at UCLA have identified a series of blood-secreted protein biomarkers indicative of early cerebral blood vessel damage that occurs in the setting of obesity and common metabolic disturbances. An enzyme immunoassay-based diagnostic test has been developed for these secreted proteins in endothelial data set that mark brain endothelial blood vessel damage. The described assay would be extremely useful to identify patients at risk for the development of silent brain ischemia.


  • Diagnostic test for predicting risk of stroke and brain blood vessel health


  • Predicts individual at risk of stroke and indicates brain blood vessel health before lasting brain damage has set in 
  • Serves as a specific indicator of cerebral microvascular disease 
  • The enzyme immunoassay allows an array of biomarkers to be examined

State Of Development

The assay has been tested with transgenic mice.

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Hinman, Jason D.

Other Information


Biomarker, blood-secreted, cerebral microvascular disease, endothelial blood vessel damage, metabolic syndrome, obesity, silent brain ischemia, stroke, cardiovascular, silent stroke, predictive assay, enzyme immunoassay

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