Navigation Links
UCLA, Emory researchers find a chemical signature for 'fast' form of Parkinson's

The physical decline experienced by Parkinson's disease patients eventually leads to disability and a lower quality of life. Depending on the individual, the disorder can progress rapidly or slowly.

Scientists at UCLA and colleagues have now, for the first time, identified a biochemical signal in the blood associated with the faster-progressing form of Parkinson's. Such a biomarker could help doctors predict early on, just after the onset of motor symptoms, how rapidly the disease will progress. The researchers said they hope blood-based biomarkers like this one will aid in earlier detection and lead to more effective disease management.

The research findings appear in the online edition of the journal PLOS ONE.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, afflicting more than 1 percent of all people over 60. Besides Parkinson's effects on walking, speaking and other motor functions, the disease also results in cognitive decline and depression. Further, it places a tremendous burden on caregivers and costs the U.S. an estimated $23 billion annually.

"The course of Parkinson's can be highly variable," said Dr. Beate Ritz, professor and chair of the department of epidemiology at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health and one of the senior authors of the paper. "Some patients can become wheelchair-bound, demented or severely depressed within just a few years after diagnosis, while others are spared for longer periods."

For the study, the researchers initially drew blood samples from 250 Parkinson's patients in the early stages of the disease who were living the Central Valley region of California. These patients were then followed for five to 10 years. Forty of them were identified as having slow-progressing Parkinson's, and 40 had the fast-progressing form of the disease. Blood samples from patients in both groups were compared to samples from a group of 20 healthy individuals from the same area in California.

The researchers used high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify metabolic or chemical fingerprints in the blood. They discovered a potential biomarker for the fast-progressing type of Parkinson's disease. That biomarker, called N8-acetyl spermidine, was significantly elevated in the rapid progressors, compared with both the slow progressors and the healthy control subjects.

"This is an important step forward in understanding how Parkinson's evolves," said Ritz, who holds a joint appointment as a professor in the UCLA Department of Neurology. "Such biomarkers reflecting the pathogenesis of Parkinson's are greatly needed due to the fact that the degeneration of the neurons in the brain that produce dopamine a hallmark of Parkinson's disease is an irreversible process. In addition, that process begins up to 20 to 30 years before imaging can identify any brain changes.

"Our hope is that such biomarkers may aid in earlier detection and more effective disease management, and that they will lead to new prevention strategies and improved clinical trials for new treatments based on a better understanding of how the disease progresses."


Contact: Mark Wheeler
University of California - Los Angeles

Related biology news :

1. Got food allergies? Thanks to UCLA, you can test your meal on the spot using a cell phone
2. Understanding immune system memory -- in a roundabout way
3. Long-term memory helps chimpanzees in their search for food
4. New Brain Supplement Focus Boost Launches, Boosting Alertness, Memory and Focus
5. Newly discovered switch plays dual role in memory formation
6. Scientists construct visual of intracellular zip code signaling linked to learning, memory
7. Choline intake improves memory and attention-holding capacity
8. Blocking overactive receptor in Alzheimers recovers memory loss and more
9. Emory, Georgia Tech receive first human exposome center grant in US
10. Do I know you? Memory patterns help us recall the social webs we weave, finds new Cornell study
11. Tickling the brain with magnetic stimulation improves memory in schizophrenia
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Oct. 8, 2015 ... leading developer of human interface solutions, announced today ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 on Thursday, October ... company will host a corresponding conference call for ... p.m. ET), during which management may discuss forward-looking ...
(Date:10/6/2015)... 6, 2015 Track Group, Inc. (OTCQX: TRCK), ... has signed a contract with the Virginia Department of ... range of sentences under the Department,s oversight. ... "This contract with the Virginia DOC will expand our ... advances our position as a trusted leader in offender ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... Sept. 30, 2015  With nearly 300,000 Americans living ... new SCIs estimated to reach 12,500 annually, the role ... Resource Services for Independent Living (SCRS-IL) is increasingly ... California opening doors to independence for ... and services, notably assistive technology services and education. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... SPRINGS, Florida , October 13, 2015 ... AVXLD), Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO ), and ... ARRY ), Avanex Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQX: AVXLD), ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNX ) --> ... and the biotech industry can potentially lead to advancements ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015  According to Kalorama Information, the ... $102 billion by the end of 2015. Clinical ... industry, as it is estimated that approximately 80% ... tests. In addition to diagnosing patients, clinical lab ... progression, monitor drug treatment and conditions, and determine ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... Proove Biosciences, a commercial and research leader ... Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) Pain Center to study ... Clinical Objectives Linking Genotypic and Phenotypic Association with Pain Outcomes) is one of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015  MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), ... and patent-protected processes to develop and market advanced products ... Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and the Dental sectors of healthcare, ... filed against the Company has been dismissed by the ... and CEO, stated, "As we suspected, this case was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: