Michael J. Fox Foundation announces significant breakthrough in search for Parkinson’s biomarker through study supported by the Edmond J. Safra Foundation

Michael J. Fox Foundation announces significant breakthrough in search for Parkinson’s biomarker through study supported by the Edmond J. Safra Foundation

Key Parkinson’s pathology can now be identified early by examining spinal fluid from living patients, and maybe soon only with blood samples. This breakthrough discovery has received international coverage and sparks hope for significant progress in early detection and treatment.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation launched the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative in 2010 at 18 clinical sites in the United States and Europe, “with a lead gift from the late Mrs. Lily Safra, a visionary friend, partner, and board member of Michel J. Fox Foundation”.

Read here the announcement along with samples of the very significant coverage of this breakthrough in early detection of Parkinson’s.

• Announcement of the Michael J. Fox Foundation
Test validated in the gold-standard Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative demonstrates greater than 90% sensitivity in people with typical Parkinson’s pathology and is frequently positive even before onset of symptoms.
Findings show differences in disease subtypes and among people with Parkinson’s risk factors, providing a novel tool for precision medicine approaches, earlier intervention and improved clinical trial design.
Michael J. Fox declared: “There are many ways I am involved with the work of the Foundation, but I come to this result first and foremost as a Parkinson’s patient. I am deeply moved by this breakthrough and endlessly grateful to the researchers, study participants and funders who have endeavored to bring us this far. When we started PPMI, we weren’t casting about for fish — we were going after a whale. Now, here we are. Together we are making a cure for Parkinson’s inevitable.” – Read the full press release

• Study published by The Lancet Neurology
The cross-sectional analysis called Assessment of heterogeneity among participants in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative cohort using α-synuclein seed amplification: a cross-sectional study, has been published jointly by Prof. Andrew Siderowf, MD; Luis Concha-Marambio, PhD; David-Erick Lafontant, MS; Carly M Farris, MS; Yihua Ma, MS; Paula A Urenia, BA; et al.
This study represents the largest analysis so far of the α-synuclein SAA for the biochemical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Our results show that the assay classifies people with Parkinson’s disease with high sensitivity and specificity, provides information about molecular heterogeneity, and detects prodromal individuals before diagnosis. These findings suggest a crucial role for the α-synuclein SAA in therapeutic development, both to identify pathologically defined subgroups of people with Parkinson’s disease and to establish biomarker-defined at-risk cohorts.” – Read the full study

• Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Michael J. Fox Foundation ID Breakthrough Biomarker in Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, with other members of the Parkinson Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI) and with funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, identified a biomarker that shows promise for early detection of Parkinson’s Disease.
Tanya Simuni of Northwestern University, one of the study authors, noted, “While loss of smell appears to be a strong predictor of Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to note that this study identified individuals with positive alphaSyn-SAA results, but who had not yet lost their sense of smell, indicating that alpha-synuclein pathology may be present even before there is a measurable loss of sense of smell.” – Read the full article

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