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Funded Studies

Peripheral Inflammatory Cytokine Profiling in Parkinson's Disease

Study Rationale:
A growing body of research suggests that inflammation contributes to Parkinson's disease. However, the stages in the disease process that inflammation is prevalent and important are unclear. Our recent work suggests inflammation may be increased early in Parkinson's disease. We now plan to replicate our earlier results and demonstrate that a panel of inflammatory markers is increased early in Parkinson's disease.

Hypothesis:
Our hypothesis is that inflammation, as measured by a panel of inflammatory markers, is increased early in Parkinson's disease.

Study Design:
We will measure inflammation in blood samples obtained from an international consortium managed by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. We will study subjects with genetic risk factors for Parkinson's disease, who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease, and compare their inflammatory markers to healthy controls and patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson's Disease:
Identifying early inflammatory markers for Parkinson's would make it possible to determine which people with genetic risk factors are likely to go on to develop Parkinson's disease, or possibly diagnose Parkinson's disease in very early stages. This would pave the way for prevention and precision medicine approaches.

Next Steps for Development:
Our next steps would be to define a small panel of inflammatory markers that could be measured over time in a larger number of subjects. This would demonstrate the reproducibility of our results over time and help us better understand the relationship between inflammation and the development of Parkinson's disease.


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