PLASMA PROTEINS ASSOCIATED WITH NEUROLOGICAL COMPLICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS IN PEDIATRIC SICKLE CELL DISEASE
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Limited proteomic discovery and protein biomarker research exists with regards to neurological complications in pediatric sickle cell disease. Existing case reports and preliminary research have shown promising results for specific proteins with regards to certain outcomes in this population, including stroke, elevated transcranial dopper velocities, and intellectual disability. The Silent Cerebral Infarct Multi-Center Clinical Trial (SIT Trial) Biologic Repository contains longitudinal samples from 200 children ages 5 to 14 years with sickle cell disease collected over a three year period. Using an electro-chemiluminescent immunoassay, we measured the levels of two proteins: Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Neurogranin (NRGN). We found elevated levels of BDNF and NRGN in children with sickle cell disease, in comparison to healthy pediatric control subjects. We also found that NRGN levels negatively correlated with IQ in children with sickle cell disease. These findings warrant future studies coupling protein biomarkers with advanced neuroimaging techniques in order to selectively identify brain injury in children with sickle cell disease and neurodevelopmental disorders, allowing earlier diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental complications in this population.