December 28, 2016 – Parkinson’s Marker

December 23, 2016

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Anchor lead:  Can a new marker identify Parkinson’s disease early? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Alpha-synuclein likely isn’t a name that most people hear very often, but it’s involved with Parkinson’s disease, or PD.  Now a new study shows that the misfolded form of alpha-synuclein associated with PD can be found in the fluid in the brain and spinal cord known as cerebrospinal fluid. Ted Dawson, a PD expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.

Dawson: They were able to show that in PD patients and even some controls that you get this amplification. This could be one of the earliest markers of PD. It’s really exciting because you can now use cerebrospinal fluid to make essentially unlimited quantities of the abnormally folded synuclein which you can study in experiments, and then the possibility would be that this could be an early diagnostic marker.   :30

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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