US-based life sciences company Labcorp has rolled out its new blood test to identify and confirm the direct evidence of neuronal injury and neurodegenerative disease.

The new blood test has been designed to measure neurofilament light chain (NfL), one of the important biomarkers linked to neuronal damage.

Labcorp said that a rise in NfL levels in blood indicates neuronal injury, which may be a result of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or brain injury with a concussion.

The company’s new NfL test will allow doctors to identify and verify signs of neurodegenerative disease and enables effective diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Labcorp Diagnostics chief medical officer and president Brian Caveney said: “NfL is a simple, objective blood test that provides direct evidence of neuronal damage.

“In making this test widely available, Labcorp is supporting neurologists with a tool they’ve been asking for that enables faster diagnoses, better treatment decisions and improved patient care.

“It’s a major step forward in the monitoring and identification of patients with neuronal injury due to disease or trauma.”

Labcorp said that its new NfL test requires a standard blood collection that can be done at a hospital, physician’s office or at any of its patient service centres.

The wide availability of its new test to physicians will provide significant benefits to patients and support effective diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, said the company.

Labcorp neurology business segment and discipline director Joseph Volpe said: “Importantly, NfL isn’t specific to one disease, but it is highly specific to neuronal damage from a wide variety of causes, from Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis to concussion and physical injury.

“This test will be impactful in helping many patients. Serial use of NfL testing can help doctors to follow trends that indicate the effectiveness of medicines or therapies, or whether there is continued injury or disease progression.”