" "
Satellite Banner
Molecular & Clinical Diagnostics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists Discover New Biological Marker for Parkinson's Disease

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers discover new biological indicator to track Parkinson’s disease using powerful MRI scanners.

Researchers in Nottingham have discovered a new biological indicator which could potentially help to track the progress of Parkinson’s disease using powerful MRI scanners.

Using highly sensitive new brain imaging techniques, scientists from The University of Nottingham and clinicians at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have discovered a measurable trait on the human brain which could be used not only to diagnose the condition but potentially also to track progression of the disease.

Parkinson’s develops when dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain die. Current diagnostic imaging tests using nuclear medical techniques are costly and cannot be used to monitor disease progression.

There has been a need for such imaging tracking in Parkinson’s disease to allow for the development of neuroprotective drugs through clinical trials.

In a paper published in the journal Neurology, the Nottingham researchers led by Penny, Gowland, Professor of Physics, reveal that this new discovery could potentially lead to a new diagnostic test for the disease.

Professor Gowland, who is based at the University’s Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, said: “When conducting a different study of patients with Parkinson’s, by using a 7T MRI scanner (which is an extremely powerful MRI scanner), we discovered a mark which looked like a ‘tear drop’ on the brains of healthy subjects, and this was not visible in the brains of patients. In subsequent post mortem scans, we actually discovered that this was something called nigrosome 1. It was known from previous post mortem work that nigrosome 1 could not be found in brains of Parkinson’s disease patients.

‘So this was a breakthrough discovery in that we now know that using this particularly sensitive MRI scanner, we can see that patients living with Parkinson’s disease don’t have this particular feature in their brain.”

Now, researchers will take their findings and look into how this discovery can be translated into standard MRI scans used in most hospitals.

Professor Gowland added: “We are now conducting a study of patients with Parkinson’s to ascertain when this mark actually disappears, which could potentially have huge implications for early diagnosis of the illness, and subsequently how it is treated.”

Dr Nin Bajaj, Associate Honorary Clinical Professor in Neurology at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “By using highly accurate and sensitive brain imaging techniques for Parkinson’s we are able to get an insight into the mechanism that causes the disease for the first time.

“We have been trying to find a biological marker for Parkinson’s for many years and the reason is that we need a tool to measure change in the disease in clinical trials in a very sensitive way. This discovery is a step change in Parkinson’s disease, it’s a game changer as they say and the implications are potentially huge.”

A full copy of the research paper can be viewed on the Neurology website. The research involved academics at The University of Nottingham’s Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, Division of Radiological and Imaging Sciences and School of Psychology in collaboration with the Divisions of Pathology and Neurology at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The work was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre is named after The University of Nottingham professor who played a central role in the development of MRI technology which revolutionized diagnostic medicine in hospitals around the world.

His contribution to the discovery earned him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003.


Further Information

Join For Free

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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ 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 TechnologyNetworks.com 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.


Scientific News
"Gene Fusion" Drives Childhood Brain Cancers
Study co-led by Penn scientists highlights potential targets for future cancer therapies.
Head Injury Patients Develop Brain Clumps Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists have revealed that protein clumps associated with Alzheimer's disease are also found in the brains of people who have had a head injury.
New Way to Identify Brain Tumor Aggressiveness
Looking at a brain tumor’s epigenetic signature may help guide therapy.
OncoCyte, The Wistar Institute Enter Global Licensing Agreement
Exclusive rights to commercialize biomarker assay follows years of positive collaboration on lung cancer diagnostic test.
Easier Diagnosis for Fungal Infection of the Lungs
A new clinical imaging method developed in collaboration with a University of Exeter academic may enable doctors to tackle one of the main killers of patients with weakened immune systems sooner and more effectively.
Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing
A team of biologists and biomedical researchers at UC San Diego has developed a new method to determine if bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics within a few hours, an advance that could slow the appearance of drug resistance and allow doctors to more rapidly identify the appropriate treatment for patients with life threatening bacterial infections.
Mitochondrial Troublemakers Unmasked in Lupus
Drivers of autoimmune disease inflammation discovered in the traps of pathogen-capturing white blood cells.
DNA Analysis in the Fast Lane
Rice bioengineers' method should lead to better database of thermal behaviors.
‘Simple Rules’ Calculate Ovarian Cancer Risk
Scientists have formulated a system that uses ultrasound images to accurately work out the likelihood of an ovarian growth being cancerous.
Finding the Needle in a Microbial Haystack
After developing a novel investigational technology called PathoChip that can rapidly identify elusive microorganisms, a team of Penn Medicine researchers recently succeeded for the first time in identifying a pathogen in a patient sample, demonstrating the proof of principle that this technology can be used to identify pathogens in human disease.
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!