a protein in the brain for earlier diagnosis

Home a protein in the brain for earlier diagnosis
Written by Doug Hampton

The presence in large quantities of this protein in the cerebrospinal fluid could promote it.

The results of the study have been published in the journal Lancet Neurology. Led by neurologist Andrew Siderowf, it clarifies the link between a protein in large quantities in the brain and forms of illness of Parkinsons.

In summary, the accumulation of this alpha-synuclein in the cerebrospinal fluid is “with great precision (to identify) the typical forms of Parkinson’s disease”.

More or less clear results

If we already knew that patients often have a-synuclein aggregates, this study is the first to be based on so many patients, hundreds. It confirms that by testing the high presence of this protein, it is possible to identify the disease which sets in more than discreetly.

But the results turned out to be variously accurate. Thus, among patients carrying a particular genetic mutation (LRRK2), the aggregates are less systematically present.

Need for a less invasive test

As important as the precision of the link is, the development of a “biological” test is not for today. But a blood test would be a simpler way than that of cerebrospinal fluid.

Daniela Berg and Christine Klein, two neurologists who did not take part in the study, believe however and still in the Lancet Neurologythat this one “lays the foundations for a biological diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease”.

Confirmation of the role of the protein

The two specialists still affirm that the role of a-synuclein “game changer in Parkinson’s disease diagnostics, research and clinical trials”.

In addition, they find it particularly interesting that the researchers measured the presence of a high concentration of α-synuclein in patients showing early signs of Parkinson’s disease, with, among other things, a reduced sense of smell. Because generally, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed when it is already well established.

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