by Viktoria Papp
Each month the EANpages editorial team reviews the scientific press for recently published papers of outstanding interest to neurologists. Below we present our selection for July 2023 (for our Paper of the Month for July, see here).
1. Propagative α-synuclein seeds as serum biomarkers for synucleinopathies
This study, recently published in Nature Medicine, presents a promising novel technique developed to detect α-synuclein seeds in the serum of patients with different synucleinopathies. In these neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Lewy body dementia (LBD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), the pathological hallmark is the abnormal aggregation of α-synuclein. A previously tested method for the detection of α-synuclein fibrils in the CSF and other tissues, real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuiC) assay, was combined with immunoprecipitation (IP) to be able to analyse serum and detect the concentrated α-synuclein seeds. An IP-based RT-QuIC assay was tested on sera from 279 patients with different synucleinopathies, 128 controls, and a further 72 patients (with progressive supranuclear palsy, Alzheimer, and Parkin-linked PD). Smaller internal and external cohorts comparing PD with MSA and controls were also evaluated with IP/RT-QuiIC assay. The results revealed that sera from patients with synucleinopathies can seed and the finding of α-synuclein seeds amplified from serum by IP/RT-QuIC is a reliable biomarker for the diagnosis of synucleinopathies. They have also shown that the structures and propagation properties of these amplified α-synuclein fibrils were different in PD and MSA, helping to differentiate among synucleinopathies.