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Funded Studies

Deep Sequencing Mass Spectrometry to Identify Biomarkers of Parkinson’s Disease in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Parkinson’s disease typically goes undetected until clinical diagnosis based on physical manifestations such as rigidity, resting tremor and slowness of movement.  Unfortunately the onset of these clinical symptoms may not occur until after loss of a substantial amount of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Identification of a biomarker could lead to earlier diagnosis, and thereby earlier intervention. The majority of neuronal destruction in Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs in the substantia nigra, which is not easy to access. Cerebrospinal fluid is an easier accessed resource for biomarker discovery, and this biologic is thought to reflect the physiology of the central nervous system.

Project Description:
In this project researchers will use state-of-the-art technology recently developed in their lab to identify protein-level signatures in the cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson’s patients.

Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
Development of Parkinson’s biomarkers will facilitate early detection and improved accuracy of diagnosis. If significant, these data also could benefit pre-clinical drug development, as well as ongoing clinical trials, which are in desperate need of robust drug efficacy markers.

Anticipated Outcome:
Lead biomarker candidates identified in this study may be suitable for future study.


  • Jarrod A. Marto, PhD

    Boston, MA United States

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