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Funded Studies

Chronos-PD: Using Proteomic Analysis to Detect Early Molecular Signatures of Parkinson’s Disease

Study Rationale: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a gradually progressive condition: by the time the disorder is recognized and diagnosed, it is often too late to protect or reverse the damage that has accumulated in nerve cells in the brain. There is therefore an urgent need to detect the earliest biologic changes of PD and to grasp its underlying mechanisms. The current molecular understanding of PD is focused mostly on the clinical stage of the disorder; this view needs to be expanded to include the preclinical, prodromal phase in the longitudinal context of disease progression.

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that early biological changes in PD can be detected years before clinical diagnosis using deep molecular profiling of blood plasma.

Study Design: The Chronos-PD study will use complementary cutting-edge proteomics technologies to analyze the plasma of individuals who donated while healthy but developed PD later in life. We will then compare these samples to those of healthy controls to identify early molecular signatures of PD.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Analysis of the prodromal plasma proteome will expand our understanding of the mechanisms underlying PD progression during its early phase and will lead to the identification of new candidate drug targets that could modify disease trajectory. It will also lead to diagnostic applications allowing earlier interventions to slow or halt disease progression.

Next Steps for Development: Early molecular signatures of PD will be validated in a larger study and will form the foundation of diagnostic tests that will directly benefit current and future people with PD. Selected molecular targets will also be identified for the development of novel therapeutics that prevent the onset and progression of PD.


  • Benoit Lehallier, PhD

    San Carlos, CA United States

  • Scott C. Lohr, BSc

    San Carlos, CA United States

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