We have previously found a panel of 8 proteins that can be measured in the blood that together distinguish people who have Parkinson’s Disease vs. people who do not. We are trying to see whether the results we found at our clinical site (University of Pennsylvania) extend to PD patients from other clinical sites.
An 8-protein panel of blood-based biomarkers will be able to reliably distinguish Parkinson’s Disease patients from people without Parkinson’s Disease.
At the University of Pennsylvania, we screened 100 Parkinson’s Disease patients as well as 45 normal controls and 25 people with Alzheimer’s disease using a method that measures >1000 proteins from one plasma sample. We found that a panel of 8 proteins could distinguish PD patients from controls with >90% accuracy. We are repeating the 1000-protein screen in samples from PDBP and, if we find that our 8-protein panel can discriminate PD from controls in this national cohort, we will design alternate, more practical assays to just measure these 8 proteins, and we will use these assays to extend our results to the international PPMI cohort.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease:
Clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is far from perfect. A blood-based test for confirmation of PD diagnosis could be used in clinical settings and/or in the selection of clinical trial participants.
Next Steps for Development:
If we replicate our results in PDBP, we will then look for international replication in the PPMI cohort. If we are successful with replication in both PDBP and PPMI, we aim to translate our research findings into a clinically-available tool.