In work from their initial grant, Drs. Steven Gullans and Clemens Scherzer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital identified a number of genes that are differentially expressed in blood cells of patients with idiopathic PD vs. healthy control subjects.
Given these exciting findings, the research team will now validate the differential expression of these genes in blood samples from a larger group of PD patients. Validation is essential in studies of this kind to ensure that any potential biomarker(s) can be useful in a wide subset of the PD patient population.
The researchers will also continue with their goal of developing a relatively simple clinical blood test that would look for specific expression of a single differentially expressed gene or pattern of genes useful for predicting PD risk.