Results from a study funded by Australian Rotary Health (ARH) suggests that patients with Parkinson’s disease have a unique blood signature compared to those without the disease. Such a discovery could further be investigated to better understand and develop treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable, degenerative neurological condition that progressively affects a person’s ability to control their body movements. Approximately 4 per 1000 people in Australia have Parkinson’s, with its chances of diagnosis increasing to 1 in 100 over the age of 60.
Miss Jasmin Galper from the University of Sydney received the David Henning Memorial Foundation PhD Scholarship between 2018 and 2021 to conduct research into clinical and pre-clinical characterisation of PD.
Miss Galper’s research initially focused on the role inflammation plays in PD, by measuring blood inflammatory markers in participants with and without PD, as well as participants with high risk on developing PD due to genetic indicators. Out of the 370 participants, it was found that such inflammatory markers were not promising in identifying PD or classifying PD risk in patients.
In a second research project, Miss Galper’s team explored different markers in the blood of PD patients, to better understand potential disease alterations. Particularly focusing on blood lipid measures, the study was an Australian-first in the emerging but underexplored area of PD research. It involved 536 blood samples from participants with and without PD, measuring over 1,000 different blood markers. It was discovered that there was a distinguishing unique blood signature of patients with Parkinson’s disease compared to those without the disease. Such breakthrough findings suggest that lipid metabolism may represent a novel marker for diagnosing and potentially treating PD.
In the same study funded by ARH, an additional investigation into 88 cerebrospinal fluid samples further illustrated differences in lipid markers in PD patients compared to those without.
“The results from this study indicate that Parkinson’s disease patients have a unique blood signature compared to people without the disease. This research suggests that the components of this blood signature should further be investigated to better understand and develop treatments for Parkinson’s disease,” said Miss Galper.
Media contact: Alexander Galati – firstname.lastname@example.org