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A Biomarker for Parkinson’s

The Scotsman newspaper reports today (29 August, 23016) that scientists are a step closer to developing a test for early-stage Parkinson’s. Research has shown that a molecule linked to the condition can be detected in samples of spinal fluid.

The molecule in question is a protein called alpha synuclein which forms aggregates known as Lewy bodies in the brain tissue of people with Parkinson’s and certain types of dementia.

Dr Alison Green from the National CJD Research and Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh is quoted as saying “We have already used this technique to develop an accurate test for Creutzfeld Jacob disease (CJD), another neuro-degenerative condition. We hope that, with further refinement, our approach will help to improve diagnosis for Parkinson’s patients.”

In early studies, the technique accurately identified 19 out of 20 samples from Parkinson’s patients as well as three samples from people thought to be at risk from the condition.

Journal reference:
Alpha-synuclein RT-QuIC in the CSF of patients with alpha-synucleinopathies
Graham Fairfoul, Lynne I. McGuire, Suvankar Pal, James W. Ironside, Juliane Neumann, Sharon Christie, Catherine Joachim, Margaret Esiri, Samuel G. Evetts, Michal Rolinski, Fahd Baig, Claudio Ruffmann, Richard Wade-Martins, Michele T. M. Hu, Laura Parkkinen and Alison J. E. Green
Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
Version of Record online: 28 AUG 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/acn3.338

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