Biomarkers for trials of neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Pankaj A. Agarwal MD, DNB, DM,

    1. Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • A. Jon Stoessl CM, MD, FRCPC

    Corresponding author
    1. Vancouver Costal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Funding agencies: The work of A.J.S. is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation, and the Canada Research Chairs program.

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosure: Nothing to report.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

Correspondence to: A. Jon Stoessl, Pacific Parkinson's Research Center, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Center, Purdy Pavilion, 2221Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 2B5; jstoessl@mail.ubc.ca

Abstract

With increased understanding of disease pathogenesis and the foreseeable reality of disease-modifying therapies, there is a growing need to find biomarkers that will allow early (preferably preclinical) detection of disease and that will provide an independent readout of disease progression. In this article, we review a variety of markers, with a focus on functional imaging techniques, which while imperfect, currently provide the best approach to this problem. We consider the limitations of functional imaging of the dopamine system in assessing the progression of Parkinson's Disease (PD) as well as the potential use of structural imaging and emerging progress in other biochemical and molecular markers. While there is no single biomarker that will satisfy all requirements, some combination is likely to be of great use in identifying those subjects most likely to benefit from neuroprotective therapies, as well as in monitoring the effects of these interventions. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society

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