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Characterization of Alpha Synuclein in Human Fluids & Brain as a Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease

Dr. Michael Schlossmacher and his colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital are looking at levels of the protein alpha-synyclein in the blood as a possible biomarker for PD. Mutations in alpha-synuclein are found in familial forms of PD and alpha-synuclein is found in protein-rich Lewy bodies, the pathological hallmark of PD.

In work from their initial grant, the Schlossmacher team developed a novel assay for determining levels of alpha-synuclein and aggregated forms of alpha-synuclein in human blood. In a small clinical study, the researchers found that they could accurately identify PD patients based on the levels of alpha-synuclein in the blood. In their future work, the Schlossmacher group will validate the alpha-synuclein biomarker in a larger PD patient population with the hope of developing an accurate and inexpensive blood test for PD based on alpha-synuclein expression.


  • Michael G. Schlossmacher, MD

    Ottawa ON Canada

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