Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Development | NYU Langone Health

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Kang Lab Research Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Development

Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Development

Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis is made primarily based on clinical criteria, which depends on the skill and experience of the diagnosing physician.  Assessing other disease-relevant biological indicators could be extremely helpful for disease diagnosis and for following disease progression.  Most biomarkers identified so far, however, lack the sensitivity and specificity to be used on an individual patient basis.  We are working collaboratively to leverage biospecimens and clinical data from the BioFIND cohort (Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research) to identify and validate promising biomarkers that will be useful for individual diagnosis. More importantly, biomarkers may help us to better understand the heterogeneity in the pathophysiology of PD. Although the final outcome of neurodegeneration would result in similar phenotype, pathogenic heterogeneity may require different therapeutic approaches for disease modification in different subtypes of PD.

The left panel shows total alpha-synuclein levels in CSF, which shows statistical difference between PD vs. control similar to other published papers. There is a large overlap between the groups that renders the assay not usable for an individual diagnosis. The right panel shows shows the results of alpha-synculein seeding aggregation assay which differentiates PD from control with over 90% specificity and sensitivity. Y axis is PMCA by Soto lab and X axis is RT-QuIC by Greene lab with 95% concordance rate.

Left panel source: Goldman JG … Kang UJ. Cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, and saliva in the BioFIND study: Relationships among biomarkers and Parkinson’s disease features. Mov Disord. 2018. DOI.

Right panel source: Kang UJ … Soto C. Comparative study of cerebrospinal fluid α-synuclein seeding aggregation assays for diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2019. DOI.