New effort to identify Parkinson's biomarkers
Last month, the National Institutes of Health announced a new collaborative initiative that aims to accelerate the search for biomarkers—changes in the body that can be used to predict, diagnose or monitor a disease—in Parkinson's disease, in part by improving collaboration among researchers and helping patients get involved in clinical studies.
As part of this program, launched by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH, Clemens Scherzer, MD, a neurologist and researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), was awarded $2.6 million over five years to work on the development of biomarkers and facilitate NINDS-wide access to one of the largest data and biospecimens bank in the world for Parkinson's available at BWH. This NINIDS initiative is highlighted in an editorial in the March issue of Lancet Neurology.
"There is a critical gap in the research that leads to lack of treatment for diseases like Parkinson's," said Scherzer. "Biomarkers are desperately needed to make clinical trials more efficient, less expensive and to monitor disease and treatment response. We are hopeful that this initiative will fast track new discoveries in this area."
According to Scherzer, most of our knowledge of the human brain is based on the analysis of just 1.5 percent of the human genome that encodes proteins. The first part of Scherzer's project will examine the function of the remaining 98.5 percent of the genome that, so far, has been unexplored in the human brain. While this remainder had been previously dismissed as "junk", it is now becoming clearer that parts of it actively regulate cell biology. Scherzer and colleagues believe that "dark matter" RNA transcribed from stretches of so called "junk" DNA is active in brain cells and contributes to the complexity of normal dopamine neurons and, when corrupted, Parkinson's disease.
"This offers a potentially ground breaking opportunity for biomarker development. Initially, the team will search for these RNAs associated in brain tissue of individuals at earliest stages of the disease. Then, this team will look for related biomarkers in the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid in both healthy brains and those with Parkinson's," Scherzer said.
Scherzer's lab has been spearheading biomarker research in this field since 2004 and the team already has 2,000 patients enrolled and being followed in a longitudinal study with rich clinical data and one of the largest biobanks in the world for Parkinson's tissue with support from the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center. The biobank was designed as an incubator for Parkinson's research and until now was chiefly available for research collaborations within the Harvard-affiliated community. As part of this new project, this vast resource will be open to all NIH-funded investigators.
"Our ultimate goal is to personalize treatment for our patients with Parkinson's." said Scherzer. "By opening up this vast collection of specimens, we are exploding the resources that are available to NIH-funded investigators looking at this disease. We hope to harness the power of collaboration to speed up biomarkers discovery."
Journal reference: Lancet Neurology
Provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital
- In Parkinson's disease, brain cells abandon mitochondria Oct 06, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: Brain energy crisis may spark Parkinson's Nov 01, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds transcriptional biomarker for Huntington's disease Oct 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid can identify patients with Alzheimer's disease Oct 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Possible biomarkers for Parkinson's disease identified Feb 23, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
The idea behind a reverse shock
1 hour ago So in a supernova explosion for example (5th slide) http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~burrows/classes/541/blastwavesChisari.pdf Ambient medium is...
Guass's Law for a charge distribution
1 hour ago First, this is not a homework question, just something I've been confused about for some time. I understand how to use Guass's law in many ways but...
2 hours ago Hello :) i'm new to this forum, so excuse me for my straightforwardness ;) I'm working on my bachelor work and i can't find a solution. I'm writing...
siphon and bernouli theorum
3 hours ago 1. I found this diagram on book but there weren't any description.can someone tell me, what its trying to tell specially by those two red lines...
Hot gas expansion rate into outer space
3 hours ago Good Morning Sirs, it seems to be surprisingly hard to get the numbers of a mystery: How fast expand hot rocket exhaust gases into empty space? ...
Magnetic field lines through copper
9 hours ago Hello. Assume an electron gun, as in CRT, made of plumbing copper instead of glass. Using magnetic scanning coils to move electron beam. Will the...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In Parkinson's disease, the protein "alpha-synuclein" aggregates and accumulates within neurons. Specific areas of the brain become progressively affected as the disease develops and advances. The mechanism underlying this ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Gaucher disease causes debilitating and sometimes fatal neurodegeneration in early childhood. Recent studies have uncovered a link between the mutations responsible for Gaucher disease and an increased risk ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative neurological disorder marked by a progressive loss of motor control. Despite intensive research, there are currently no approved therapies that have been demonstrated to alter the ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Faulty energy production in brain cells leads to disorders ranging from Parkinson's to intellectual disability
Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken of VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and KU Leuven has shown for the first time that dysfunctional mitochondria in brain cells can lead to learning disabilities. The link between ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 17, 2013 | 4 / 5 (2) | 0
McGill University researchers have unlocked a new door to developing drugs to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Collaborating teams led by Dr. Edward A. Fon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 09, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 5
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
23 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
22 hours ago | not rated yet | 1