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Editorial| Volume 49, P1-3, April 2018

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Cerebrospinal fluid levels of alpha-synuclein in PARKINSON’S disease: Another long and winding road

  • Katerina Markopoulou
    Affiliations
    Movement Disorders Section, Department of Neurology, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Chicago, Evanston, USA
    University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • Yaroslau Compta
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. 170 Villarroel Street, Neurology Service, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Service, ICN, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERNED, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    Physiology Unit, Department of Biomedicine, Institut de Neurociències, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    Search for articles by this author
      The search for biomarkers of Parkinson's disease (PD) that can reflect the underlying disease process and/or help to assess disease progression, severity and treatment response is already a longstanding quest [
      • Michell A.W.
      • Lewis S.J.
      • Foltynie T.
      • Barker R.A.
      Biomarkers and Parkinson's disease.
      ]. While the identification of Lewy bodies (LB) as the pathological hallmark of PD more than a century ago [
      • Lewy F.H.
      Paralysis Agitans. I. Pathologische Anatomie.
      ] preceded the discovery of striatal dopamine deficiency [
      • Hornykiewicz O.
      Dopamine (3-hydroxytyramine) in the central nervous system and its relation to the Parkinson syndrome in man.
      ], the first efforts to find PD biomarkers came from studies of dopamine metabolites studies in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) [
      • Johansson B.
      • Roos B.E.
      5-hydroxyindoleacetic and homovanillic acid levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of healthy volunteers and patients with Parkinson's syndrome.
      ], a biofluid considered to reflect CNS processes more accurately than peripheral tissues. Nevertheless, in subsequent decades, the inability to identify biomarkers in a more accessible biofluid such as peripheral blood [
      • Chahine L.M.
      • Stern M.B.
      • Chen-Plotkin A.
      Blood-based biomarkers for Parkinson's disease.
      ], the modest diagnostic performance of the aforementioned CSF dopamine metabolites [
      • LeWitt P.A.
      • Galloway M.P.
      Neurochemical markers of Parkinson's disease.
      ] (in turn overcome by dopamine imaging), and the identification of α-synuclein as a key component of LBs [
      • Spillantini M.G.
      • Schmidt M.L.
      • Lee V.M.
      • Trojanowski J.Q.
      • Jakes R.
      • Goedert M.
      Alpha-synuclein in Lewy bodies.
      ], resulted in a redirection of research towards the discovery of α-synuclein biomarkers in CSF.
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