Biomarkers that can communicate the underlying pathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) in living patients would be invaluable for diagnosis and for evaluation of disease-modifying treatments. The purpose of this project is to develop tracers for use with PET imaging that can bind to misfolded alpha-synuclein, which is thought to be central to the pathology in PD.
To develop a PET imaging tracer for visualization of alpha-synuclein pathology on brain scans in living PD patients, researchers will refine assays (characterization tests) that will allow for screening of promising candidate tracers. They then will begin pre-clinical studies with the lead candidates that will establish the basis for clinical trials of the new tracer(s) in human.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
This project addresses the unmet need for objective measures of underlying PD pathology. A successful PET imaging tracer of alpha-synuclein would help with early detection of PD and assessment of therapies aimed at reducing the progression of PD.
At the end of this study, investigators hope to have a promising candidate or set of candidates for use as PET tracers of alpha-synuclein. These tracers would then undergo additional safety assessments in pre-clinical models and could then potentially be validated in patients with Parkinson’s disease.