Scientists 'closer' to identifying Parkinson's biomarkers – Irish Medical Times

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6th January 2023
An estimated 12,000 people in Ireland are living with Parkinson’s according to the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland
Scientists at University of Galway have identified a set of biomarkers which can distinguish patients with Parkinson’s disease from those without it.
Their new study provides a new direction for research towards a blood-based test, which combined with the current approach of clinical and neuropsychological testing would improve the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
The research was led by Professor Adrienne Gorman in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway. The study was funded by Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme, and it was conducted in collaboration with University Hospital Galway, University of Limerick, and Randox Teoranta.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that is primarily associated with the loss of motor function, such as the use of muscles and movement of limbs, due to the degeneration and death of nerves that control movement. When nerves start to die, they send stress signals to the surrounding neurons and distal tissues by releasing stress-regulated proteins.
Dr Katarzyna Mnich, the first author on the paper, said: “For that reason we were looking for markers in the blood of Parkinson’s disease patients that would indicate neuronal stress.”
The research found that four stress-regulated proteins — PDIA1; PDIA3; MANF; and clusterin — enable us to distinguish Parkinson’s disease patients from those not affected by this disease.
Dr Shirin Moghaddam, the co-author on the paper, said: “The next step is to translate our findings to a clinical diagnostic test. This requires validation of the biomarker panel in further independent cohorts to evaluate the test sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.”
Dr Mnich added: “The development of a blood-based diagnostic test would offer patients faster, cheaper, and more accurate diagnosis to start their treatment sooner. And all of us on the research team would like to express our gratitude to everyone engaged in the project, especially to the people who are living with Parkinson’s disease who supported the study.”
The study is published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology.
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