Skip to main content
Funded Studies

Reduction of NURR1 mRNA in Human Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes as a Biomarker of PD

Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disease in adults, affecting over 1 million people in the United States. The neuropathology in the brain has been progressing long before the clinical symptoms of PD occur. It is a great challenge to identify biological markers that can be used in early diagnosis of the disease with the aim of introducing neuroprotective therapies as early in the course of the disease as possible. Impairment of dopamine transmission in the brain may be assessed in vivo by functional imaging techniques, but these are rather complex and expensive evaluations, not suitable for mass screening.

In our pilot study we found a significant reduction of gene expression of NURR1, a critical factor for dopamine neuron development and function, in PD patient's blood, which led to the current proposal that the reduction of NURR1 gene expression may be an biochemical indicator of early PD. The objective of this project is to determine whether NURR1 mRNA levels in peripheral blood can be used as a validated and measurable biomarker of PD, assisting in the early diagnosis of this disease and predict the disease progression.

Final Outcome

The team measured levels of the protein NURR1 in blood to validate initial findings that the protein levels were reduced in PD patients. They collected a large number of samples to optimize the measurement assay. While the work generated interesting data, ultimately technology challenges prevented the team from fully realizing the goals of the project.


Discover More Grants

Within the Same Program

Within the Same Funding Year

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.