Major NIH grant will support early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease via skin testing

CLEVELAND, October 4, 2019--Wenquan Zou, MD, PhD, an expert in degenerative neurological diseases, along with his collaborators Shu G. Chen, PhD also from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Jiyan Ma, MD, PhD, from Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Thomas Beach, MD, PhD, from Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Sun City, Arizona, have received a five-year, $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for diagnosing Parkinson's disease (PD) via an innovative skin testing approach. Also part of the team is Steven Gunzler, MD, a neurologist at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and the School of Medicine.

The methodology uses highly sensitive technology to detect the presence in the skin of "misfolded" alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) proteins that are the cause of nerve cell dysfunction and death in PD.


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  • Guest - Lance Barker

    Ed's comment: "The weak part of the study is that the two tests are only 50% accurate so the method is unreliable. We propose to eventually establish a serological test based upon presence of the spiroplasma infection which should be much more reliable."


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