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Leading researchers report on the elusive search for biomarkers in Huntington's disease
Date:5/20/2013

ter stage HD due to movement," says Rees. "Nevertheless, imaging has several advantages including the ability to track progression in the pre-manifest stage before any detectable clinical or cognitive change."

Current evidence suggests that the best neuroimaging biomarkers are structural MRI and PET using [11C] raclopride (RACLO-PET) as the tracer, in order to assess changes in the basal ganglia, especially the caudate.

A study led by Garth J.S. Cooper, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry at the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland, used comparative proteome analysis to identify how protein expression might correlate with Huntington's neurodegeneration in two regions of human brain: the middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and the visual cortex (VC). The investigators studied post mortem human brain tissue from seven HD brains and eight matched controls. They found that the MFG of HD brains differentially expressed 22 proteins compared to controls, while only seven were different in the VC. Several of these proteins had not been linked to HD previous. Investigators categorized these proteins into six general functional categories: stress response, apoptosis, glycolysis, vesicular trafficking, and endocytosis. They determined that there is a common thread in the degenerative processes associated with HD, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.

The third report explores the possibility that inflammatory markers in plasma can be used to track HD, noting that immune changes are apparent even during the preclinical stage. "The innate immune system orchestrates an inflammatory response involving complex interactions between cytokines, chemokines and acute phase proteins and is thus a rich source of potential biomarkers," says Maria Bjrkqvist, PhD, head of the Brain Disease Biomarker Unit, Department of Experimental Science of Lund University, Sweden.

The authors compare plas
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Contact: Astrid Engelen
a.engelen@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert

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