Biomarkers of neurodegenerative disorders: How good are they?

Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
Cell Research (Impact Factor: 11.98). 10/2004; 14(5):347-58. DOI: 10.1038/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Biomarkers are very important indicators of normal and abnormal biological processes. Specific changes in pathologies, biochemistries and genetics can give us comprehensive information regarding the nature of any particular disease. A good biomarker should be precise and reliable, distinguishable between normal and interested disease, and differential between different diseases. It is believed that biomarkers have great potential in predicting chances for diseases, aiding in early diagnosis, and setting standards for the development of new remedies to treat diseases. New technologies have enabled scientists to identify biomarkers of several different neurodegenerative diseases. The followings, for instance, are only a few of the many new biomarkers that have been recently identified: the phosphorylated tau protein and aggregated Beta-amyloid peptide for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Alpha-synuclein contained Lewy bodies and altered dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging for Parkinson's disease (PD), SOD mutations for familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and CAG repeats resulted from Huntington's gene mutations in Huntington's disease (HD). This article will focus on the most-recent findings of biomarkers belonging to the four mentioned neurodegenerative diseases.

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    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests parasympathetic dysfunction and elevated inflammation as underlying processes in multiple peripheral and neurological diseases. Acetylcholine, the main parasympathetic neurotransmitter and inflammation regulator, is hydrolyzed by the two closely homologous enzymes, acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase (AChE and BChE, respectively), which are also expressed in the serum. Here, we consider the potential value of both enzymes as possible biomarkers in diseases associated with parasympathetic malfunctioning. We cover the modulations of cholinesterase activities in inflammation-related events as well as by cholinesterase-targeted microRNAs. We further discuss epigenetic control over cholinesterase gene expression and the impact of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the corresponding physiological and pathological processes. In particular, we focus on measurements of circulation cholinesterases as a readily quantifiable readout for changes in the sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and the implications of changes in this readout in health and disease. Taken together, this cumulative know-how calls for expanding the use of cholinesterase activity measurements for both basic research and as a clinical assessment tool.
    Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 11/2013; 53(3). DOI:10.1007/s12031-013-0176-4 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders which is characterized by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural disturbances. Studies indicate that grape juice and exercise may have beneficial effects on neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the effects of red grape juice (GJ) together with treadmill running on animal model of PD. Materials and Methods : 30 male Wistar rats were divided randomly into Sham, PD, PD treated with GJ (PD-GJ), PD treated with exercise (PD-Ex), and PD treated with GJ associated with exercise (PD-GJ-Ex) groups with six rats in each. In order to obtain the PD model, 6-OHDA was infused into left substantia nigra pars compacta. In order to prove that the lesions are created and to estimate their extent, apomorphine was administered (i.p.) and total number of induced rotations was recorded during 60 minutes. Exercise was applied by treadmill and GJ was added into drinking water for 30 days and rotations test was performed again. Results: Our results indicate that there was a significant difference in number of rotations between PD and Sham groups (p<0.05). At the end of experiment, number of rotations decreased significantly in both PD-GJ and PD-GJ-Ex groups (p<0.05). Exercise alone increased the number of rotations non- significantly. Conclusion: Grape juice reduced rotations probably via the antioxidant agents.
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