a blood biomarker makes it possible to identify it

2023-09-19 15:48:09


  • People with Parkinson’s disease have high levels of a blood biomarker, even before symptoms appear.
  • Called DOPA decarboxylase, this biomarker is associated with disorders in the dopamine system, one of the hallmarks of the disease.
  • This discovery could make it possible to create new diagnostic tools.

Time matters in Parkinson’s disease. This neurodegenerative disease is progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. “Patients remain asymptomatic until 50 to 70% of dopamine neurons are destroyed and the brain is no longer able to compensate for this loss.“, explains Inserm. The decline of these neurons is the main effect of the pathology, it has consequences on numerous functions of the body, such as movements, motivation or cognition. To slow down the symptoms, the Disease must be detected early enough. Research from Lund University could help speed up diagnosis. Nature Agingits authors explain having discovered a blood biomarker making it possible to detect the disease before the first signs appear.

Parkinson’s disease: an abnormally elevated blood biomarker

We used advanced techniques that allow us to simultaneously measure thousands of proteins in a small amount of sampleexplains Oskar Hansson, professor of neurology at Lund University and co-author of the study We conducted this study on 428 people to identify biomarkers that could indicate whether a patient with motor disorders or cognitive difficulties has damage to the dopamine system in the brain.“This allowed them to discover that if a patient has a disorder of the dopaminergic system, the levels of a biomarker increase: DOPA decarboxylase (DCC).”In the current study, DCC was found to be elevated in people with Parkinson’s disease as well as in people with other diseases leading to dopamine deficiency in the brain, note the authors. However, the marker was normal in other brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.“Swedish scientists even found that the rate was abnormally high several years before symptoms appeared. A second study carried out with a group of more than 150 people confirmed these results.

Blood biomarker: a future diagnostic tool for Parkinson’s disease?

Other techniques already existed to measure damage to the body’s dopamine system, but these tests required expensive and complicated methods to implement. This work shows that a simple blood test could make it possible to identify abnormalities in the dopaminergic system.

Since the symptoms of various neurodegenerative brain diseases are similar, there is a significant risk of misdiagnosis and therefore inappropriate treatment, adds the scientist. It is therefore crucial to find safer diagnostic tools and methods.” For Oskar Hansson, these results also represent the hope of detecting the disease earlier to better treat it. “I believe that in the future, different brain pathologies will be treated even before symptoms are apparent.”

#blood #biomarker #identify

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