Neuromelanin in Circulating Phagocytes May Reveal Early Neurodegeneration in Parkinson's Disease Supplement
Research Grant, 2014
This grant builds upon the research from a prior grant:
Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:
The pigment neuromelanin is specifically found in the nerves destroyed by Parkinsonís disease. We developed a way to measure neuromelanin and then looked for neuromelanin in white blood cells in the blood stream of Parkinsonís disease patients. We were able to detect neuromelanin in these white blood cells (confirming our hypothesis) and may be able to use this to diagnose Parkinsonís disease before motor symptoms arise.
Objectives for Supplemental Investigation: † † † † ††
We will now study whether we can detect neuromelanin and other brain materials in the white blood cells of pre-clinical models. These models will be injected with a toxin that causes PD, and, at various times after the injection, we will take blood samples for neuromelanin measurement.
Importance of This Research for the Development of a New PD Therapy: † † †
Neuroprotective drugs may prevent or delay the development of Parkinsonís disease, but by the time the diagnosis is made it may already be too late as many nerve cells have died. This research may produce a biochemical test for early diagnosis of Parkinsonís disease and facilitate preventive or disease-delaying drug therapy.
Director of Research at MSDx Inc.
Location: Tuscon, Arizona, United States
Assistant Professor of Neurology at University of Arizona
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States