Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Chemical Signature for Fast Form of Parkinson's Found

Published: Monday, November 25, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, November 25, 2013
Bookmark and Share
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."

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Clearest Ever Images of Enzyme that Plays Key Roles in Aging, Cancer
UCLA-led research on telomerase could lead to new strategies for treating disease
Monday, October 19, 2015
Crop Cure
Scientists in new center to use medical research techniques to help food crops withstand drought and climate change.
Friday, October 16, 2015
Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Structure of Key Pain-Related Protein Unveiled
In a technical tour de force, scientists have determined, at near-atomic resolution, the structure of a protein that plays a central role in the perception of pain and heat.
Friday, December 06, 2013
New Insights into How Proteins Regulate Genes
Researchers have developed a new way to parse and understand how special proteins called "master regulators" read the genome, and consequently turn genes on and off.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Cell Growth Discovery Has Implications for Targeting Cancer
The way cells divide to form new cells is controlled in previously unsuspected ways.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Discovery Could Lead to Saliva Test for Pancreatic Cancer
The disease is typically diagnosed through an invasive and complicated biopsy.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Tuberculosis and Parkinson’s Disease Linked by Unique Protein
UCSF researchers seek way to boost protein to fight both diseases.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Effects of Parkinson’s Disease Mutation Reversed in Cells
UCSF study used chemical commonly found in anti-wrinkle cream.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Dentistry School Receives $5M to Study Saliva Biomarkers
Imagine having a sample of your saliva taken at the dentist's office, and then learning within minutes whether your risk for stomach cancer is higher than normal.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Scientists Devise Innovative Method to Profile and Predict the Behavior of Proteins
A class of proteins that are made up of multiple, interlocking molecular components, enzymes perform a variety of tasks inside each cell.
Friday, August 09, 2013
Immune System Molecule Promotes Tumor Resistance
A team of scientists has shown for the first time that a signaling protein involved in inflammation also promotes tumor resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Failure to Destroy Toxic Protein Contributes to Progression of Huntington’s Disease
Gladstone-led study also finds target that boosts protein clearance, prolongs cell life.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Deadliest Cancers May Respond to New Drug Treatment Strategy
Researchers have found a way to knock down cancers caused by a tumor-driving protein called “myc,” paving the way for clinical trials.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Brain Anomolies are Potential Biomarkers for Autism
Brain anomalies may serve as potential biomarkers for the early identification of the neurodevelopmental disorder.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Scientific News
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Gut Microbes Signal to the Brain When They're Full
Don't have room for dessert? The bacteria in your gut may be telling you something.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Novel Proteins Linked to Huntington's Disease
University of Florida Health researchers have made a new discovery about Huntington's disease, showing that the gene that causes the fatal disorder makes an unexpected "cocktail" of mutant proteins that accumulate in the brain.
Enzyme Critical to Maintaining Telomere Length Discovered
New method expected to speed understanding of short telomere diseases and cancer.
New Method Identifies Up to Twice as Many Proteins and Peptides
An international team of researchers developed a method that identifies up to twice as many proteins and peptides in mass spectrometry data than conventional approaches.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos