So far, there has been no such biomarker for Parkinson’s disease. A team from ETH Zurich has now closed this gap. In a study just published in the journal “Nature Structural and Molecular Biology”, the team led by Professor Paola Picotti presented for the first time 76 proteins that could be suitable as biomarkers for detecting Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers found several proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid of healthy people and people with Parkinson’s disease, the shapes of which differ in healthy and diseased people. The protein forms could in future be used as a new category of biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease.
In a next step, the markers found must now be tested and checked in detail using larger patient groups. It is still too early for clinical diagnoses. But with the current state of knowledge, the markers are a very strong signal indicative of Parkinson’s disease.
She is very confident that the concept of structural biomarkers will work, said Natalie de Souza, a senior scientist in Picotti’s group and one of the study’s co-authors. In the study, the ETH researchers examined the spinal fluid of 50 healthy and 50 diseased people.