A dysfunction of the glucocerebrosidase (GCase) protein increases the risk of Parkinson's disease (PD). Blood cells called monocytes produce large amounts of this protein. The aim of this study is to determine how well the GCase protein functions in monocytes from the blood of people diagnosed with PD.
We hypothesize that the GCase protein will not function as well as it should in monocytes from the blood of people with Parkinson's disease.
We will collect blood samples from people with Parkinson's disease and people of similar age without Parkinson's. In these blood samples, we will measure the function and amount of the GCase protein.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson's Disease:
This project will help determine if the GCase protein may be useful as a Parkinson's disease indicator measured via a blood test. Our results may also help to determine who will benefit most from the potential new therapies that restore GCase function in people with PD.
Next Steps for Development:
This project will help develop assays for measuring GCase function in blood cells called monocytes. If we find that GCase does not function as expected in monocytes from the blood of people with Parkinson's, then more work would need to be done to determine how early in the course of disease the GCase dysfunction occurs and how much it contributes to PD symptoms.