• Open Access

Neurochemical Approaches in the Laboratory Diagnosis of Parkinson and Parkinson Dementia Syndromes: A Review


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Professor Dr. med. Markus Otto, Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Steinhövelstr. 1, 89075 Ulm, Germany.
Tel.: 49-731-500-63010;
Fax: 49-731-500-63012;
E-mail: markus.otto@uni-ulm.de


The diagnosis of Parkinson disease (PD) is rendered on the basis of clinical parameters, whereby laboratory chemical tests or morphological imaging is only called upon to exclude other neurodegenerative diseases. The differentiation between PD and other diseases of the basal ganglia, especially the postsynaptic Parkinson syndromes multisystem atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), is of decisive importance, on the one hand, for the response to an appropriate therapy, and on the other hand, for the respective prognosis of the disease. However, particularly at the onset of symptoms, it is difficult to precisely distinguish these diseases from each other, presenting with an akinetic-rigid syndrome. It is not yet possible to conduct a neurochemical differentiation of Parkinson syndromes. Therefore, a reliable biomarker is still to be found that might predict the development of Parkinson dementia. Since this situation is currently the subject of various different studies, the following synopsis is intended to provide a brief summary of the investigations addressing the field of the early neurochemical differential diagnosis of Parkinson syndromes and the early diagnosis of Parkinson dementia, from direct α-synuclein detection to proteomic approaches. In addition, an overview of the tested biomarkers will be given with regard to their possible introduction as a screening method.