Scientists have revealed that simple tests on human saliva would be capable of diagnosing diabetes and cancer at an early stage and perhaps other neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases.
The study has brought to light that saliva contained many of the same disease-revealing molecules that were contained in blood.
Dr. David Wong, a senior author of the research and UCLA's Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor in Dentistry has said that if they could analyze constituents in saliva that could mark someone who has pre-diabetes or the early stages of oral cancer or pancreatic cancer and they could utilize this knowledge for personalized medicine.
The UCLA scientists have identified more than 400 circular RNAs in human saliva that was the first discovery of circular RNA in saliva or any body fluid that included 327 forms that were previously unknown.
While most RNA molecules translate genetic code from DNA to make proteins, there were also classes called non-coding RNAs that do not.
Saliva has been carrying with it non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs and circRNAs that were biomarkers for disease and health monitoring without this study scientists would have never known that non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs and circRNAs existed in saliva.
Their overriding conclusion was that saliva has tremendous medical and scientific value. In the not-too-distant future, dentists would be able to take saliva samples to analyze for a variety of diseases.
Wong had said that the research could lead to a new category of self-diagnostic devices.
The study was published online by the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Chemistry.