We have discovered a long, non-coding RNA (RNA that does not encode a protein) that shows a five-fold decrease within the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to similarly aged healthy individuals. This RNA is also found within human blood, and we hope that its level in blood could serve as a peripheral PD biomarker. Validation of a biological marker of PD presence and progression is a critical step in drug development.
We believe that long, non-coding RNA may serve as a biological marker of Parkinson’s disease.
RNA from the blood of both Parkinson’s disease patients and similarly aged healthy individuals, provided through the MJFF-sponsored BioFIND study, will be assessed for the level of this long, non-coding RNA. Other RNA transcripts of PD significance will also be examined and assessed for peripheral biomarker suitability.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
We anticipate that our analysis will discover and validate a PD biomarker in blood that could potentially provide early and accurate diagnosis, permit monitoring of disease progression, and assist in assessing new therapeutic approaches.
Identification of the specific long, non-coding RNA as a PD biomarker in BioFIND samples would allow us to progress to further validate in a larger, longitudinal cohort such as from the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative.