June 16, 2009
Biomarker link to bladder disorder
A bladder disorder common to humans and cats may originate in the nervous system, U.S. researchers say.
The study of chemicals found in blood samples, published in Analyst, suggests tryptophan -- an essential amino acid -- is processed in those with a painful bladder disorder called interstitial cystitis in a way that may affect how brain signals are transmitted.
Using infrared microspectroscopy to tell the difference between blood samples on the basis of their molecular profiles, the researchers find samples from humans and cats with interstitial cystitis demonstrated nearly identical molecular peaks.
What we know now is that this testing method is very sensitive and specific for the disorder in both humans and domestic cats. So far it hasn't missed one diagnosis, Buffington says in a statement.
Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and pelvis, and often an urgent and frequent need to urinate, the researchers say. The diagnosis typically follows tests to rule out other diseases.