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Funded Studies

Using Data from the LEAPS Project to Improve the Accuracy of Assays that Measure Alpha-synuclein

Study Rationale: The scientific and clinical research community working on Parkinson’s disease (PD) is in need of biomarkers to facilitate the monitoring of disease progression and efficacy of potential therapies. Under the auspices of the MJFF-funded program LEAPS (Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson’s Solutions), we identified several factors that hampered our ability to accurately measure alpha-synuclein protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Now, we will deploy a systematic approach to remove these barriers and implement a solution that will enable research in this area to progress further.

Hypothesis: Our objective is to design more accurate assays and sample preparation protocols for measuring alpha-synuclein in CSF.

Study Design: Building on the data we collected in previous stages of the LEAPS project, we will attempt to arrive at a reliable approach for preparing and processing CSF samples so that they retain the form of alpha-synuclein protein we want to detect, in a form that is as close as possible to the state of the protein when the sample was originally collected. Optimizing these procedures will require determining the key factors necessary for proper sample handling at the time of analysis.

Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Developing better therapeutics for PD requires having tools to monitor the effect of treatments under consideration. It is therefore important that we develop robust reliable and reproducible assays to quantify targets that we know are related to the disease.

Next Steps for Development: Our results will enable us to move forward with a robust assay platform for assessing the valuable clinical cohorts that have been gathered over several years in the PPMI study by MJFF and its partners at major clinical care and research sites in North America and the European Union.


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