Parkinson’s disease, a neurological condition that impairs movement, affects more than 10 million individuals worldwide. Although the precise cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, researchers do know that low levels of dopamine, which are necessary for communicating with the part of the brain in charge of movement and coordination, are a contributing factor. Parkinson’s disease risk factors include heredity, age, gender, exposure to toxins, and a history of traumatic brain injury
The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease cannot yet be made using any specific laboratory or imaging testing. Using any brain imaging and the early symptoms, doctors can reach a diagnosis.
A biomarker, also known as a biological marker, is an indicator of a physiological state of interest or a sign that aids in the identification of a disease. Biomarkers can be identified by examining a sample and can be found in the body’s tissues, blood, urine, and other physiological fluids. They can also be found at the cellular or molecular level, for example, by examining someone’s DNA.
A biomarker can be measured as well. Examples of physiological biomarkers include a person’s blood pressure, body temperature, and weight because they offer precise “snapshots” of the body’s state of health. Finding biomarkers for particular illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, eczema, and depression has been a research priority in recent years.
A New Biomarker For Parkinson’s And Related Diseases
Dr. Oskar Hansson, a professor of neurology at Lund University, a consultant at Skne University Hospital, and the study’s lead author, and his group employed cutting-edge methods to evaluate hundreds of proteins in samples taken from 428 individuals. Of the total participants, 81 had Lewy body dementia, a condition that frequently arises in Parkinson’s disease, whereas 347 served as healthy controls.
The researchers discovered that regardless of the stage of the disease, people with dopamine system disorders, such as Parkinson’s, had elevated levels of a particular protein called DOPA decarboxylase (DCC) in their cerebrospinal fluid. The new biomarker was also significantly elevated in their bloodstream, providing a safer diagnostic tool and procedure. The researchers confirmed their findings with a second group of study participants.
Other Biomarkers For Parkinson’s Disease
The discovery of a biomarker connected to Parkinson’s disease is not new. A study from October 2022 discovered that a possible biomarker for Parkinson’s disease could be detected in the structure of a collection of proteins found in cerebrospinal fluid.
In a study released in August 2023, the efficiency of Parkinson’s treatments was examined using genetic indicators.
A study that identified a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease in urine and cerebral-spinal fluid samples was published in July 2016. In addition, further investigation in August 2016 found a possible biomarker to aid in the non-invasive tracking of illness progression.
Although PET imaging of the dopaminergic neurons is frequently beneficial, it is costly and requires a complicated infrastructure. Accurate fluid biomarkers would be significantly more economical and scalable, especially if they could be detected in blood.
Detection Of Parkinsonian Diseases At Preclinical Stage
The capacity to identify Lewy body dementia in its preclinical phases would be very helpful for the families and caregivers to know in advance so that there might be future planning and perhaps even enrolment in research clinic studies targeted at Lewy body dementia patients.
Trying to diagnose Parkinson’s disease or people with atypical Parkinsonian symptoms would be more accurate. In order for this kind of test to demonstrate safety and efficacy and eventually enter the commercial market, the next stage of this research would be to expand this study with more patient enrolment.
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