What Can Hair Tell About? A Non-Invasive Diagnostics of Diseases Is Discovered at SUSU

It is an often case that one’s health and life depend on as quick a disease is found.  That is why today the ways of quick and effective revealing of a disease is one of the most important directions in medicine. At present one of the unique SUSU projects in this field is being carried out.

“Non-invasive diagnostics of different forms of health problems” is a project that will allow health professionals to discover traces of any disease without a blood test. Human hair will become the material for investigation.

“Everyone knows that the earlier a disease is found the more chances a doctor has for its successful curing. That is why a problem of seeking for the early markers of a disease appears,” says Director of SUSU School of Medical Biology, Doctor of Biological Sciences, and Professor Vadim Tseilikman. “Some way or other many procedures are connected with the blood tests what is a very uncomfortable process for a patient. Wherever it is possible medicine tries to carry out a non-invasive diagnostics that is to use other human biological fluids. Lately hair began to be used for these purposes. We want to point out the possibilities of using human hair for the early diagnostics of pathological states.”

The analysis of hair has already found application in medicine, as underlines Vadim Eduardovich. So, German scientists use hair to determine the level of stress hormone — cortisol. A new approach is perspective not only for discovering mental diseases.  Different biochemical values of hair and its biochemical characteristics (order of molecules in the structure of a hair, amino acids correlation, as well as length, thickness and color of a hair shaft) allow discovering traces of cancer diseases at early stages as well as heart and respiratory diseases.

The project is being carried out in cooperation with SUSU Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In the course of investigation a method of Raman scattering which is a profile of Department of Optoinformatics specialists will be used.  A concentration of stress hormone in a hair is possible to determine by Raman spectrum.  In order to understand the possibility of this a number of preliminary investigations should be undergone including analysis of Raman spectrum of different amino acids in different conditions. Students – Bachelors and Masters of Applied Mathematics and Physics direction take part in these investigations.

“What is the convenience of this type of diagnostics? First of all, it is the simplicity of biological material collection and the possibility of taking measurements as often as possible. As any health problem develops dynamically the frequency of measuring any parameter has a crucial significance,” underlines Vadim Eduardovich. “A new approach showed its efficiency at early diagnostics of underlying risks for post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome. But nowadays we do not use even 0,000001 of all its possibilities and we cannot even guess what diseases can be diagnosed by such means.” 

At present it cannot be said for sure what health problems can be diagnosed, a number of scientific experiments are required. The results of hair investigation will be compared with the analysis of other biological fluids analysis after that all the possibilities of a new approach will be defined.

Viktoriya Matveichuk; photo: Oleg Igoshin
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