Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are clinically distinct disorders, but their pathologies overlap considerably. Understanding how these overlaps relate to the two disorders will improve our understanding of both diseases. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the protein alpha-synuclein remain a potential biomarker for PD, yet the specific relevance of alpha-synuclein is unclear. More so, some synucleopathies show similarities to AD and additionally, cognitive decline related to the protein APOE-4 has been implicated in AD as well as PD.
We hypothesize that we can use advanced processing strategies to evaluate the distinct and common roles of APOE-4 status, and CSF alpha-synuclein levels in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
We will standardize the analyses pipelines for data in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative such that direct comparisons between the data are possible. We will use generalized linear modeling approaches to determine the relation of APOE-4 status and CSF alpha-synuclein levels to cortical thickness of different brain regions in AD and PD.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
Our standardized analytical framework will render these datasets directly comparable for this study and future investigations of these diseases.
Next Steps for Development:
This work will allow future studies to elucidate the clinical variance in the two diseases and make corresponding advancements in disease-modifying therapies.