Analysis of Brain and Peripheral Small Molecule Levels in Parkinsonís Disease
Access to Data and Biospecimens, 2014
Parkinsonís disease is accompanied by a loss of chemical signaling molecules in the brain and body. For instance, chemicals like dopamine are lost in both the gut and in the brain, leading to gastrointestinal and movement complications. The purpose of this study is to examine a large number of different molecules in Parkinsonís disease patients compared to healthy people. Finding differences in the chemical makeup of these patient samples may give us clues to ways to diagnose the disease earlier or to novel treatments.
We believe that brain (measured via cerebrospinal fluid) and body (measured in blood) chemicals will correlate to one another and be significantly different in Parkinsonís disease patients compared to controls. These differences can be used as biological markers to assess degree of Parkinsonís disease severity.
We will employ state-of-the art analytical methods that can detect chemicals at extremely low concentrations in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in plasma (blood). We will analyze the levels of approximately 65 different chemicals in CSF and blood from both Parkinsonís disease patients and control volunteers. Importantly, we will assess the degree of symptoms in these patients using the clinical information provided by the Fox Investigation for New Discovery of Biomarkers (BioFIND) study. Our goal is to correlate levels of chemicals with motor and non-motor disease severity. †
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinsonís Disease: † † † † † † †
This study has two-fold impact on the future of Parkinsonís disease. Firstly, it may provide a reliable biological marker for the disease, which will aid in earlier detection and thus improved treatment. Additionally, this study may provide novel biological targets for Parkinsonís disease if one or more of the analyzed chemicals are found to be significantly changed compared to controls.
Next Steps for Development:
The next steps of this study would be to run a second, blinded study where PD patient samples from another cohort are compared to healthy controls to further validate our findings.
Research Investigator at University of Michigan
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States