Abnormal PINK1-PRKN directed mitochondrial quality control appears to be an important contributor to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Measures to assess activation of this pathway in biofluids might correlate with disease status or severity in at least a subpopulation of PD patients.
We hypothesize that sensitive assays for mitophagy pathway activation could be useful tools as diagnostic or prognostic fluid biomarkers.
We aim to test this hypothesis by using larger cohorts of plasma samples and by expanding our efforts to cerebrospinal fluid and urine as well as novel ultrasensitive detection platforms and complementary assays.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
We expect the impact to be significant as this work may eventually allow better stratification of patients and help identify those individuals with altered mitophagy for future therapeutic trials.
Next Steps for Development:
Next steps would include validation in large multi-center cohorts to determine the robustness of the assays for mitophagy pathway activation as novel biomarkers.