Erythrocyte-derived extracellular vesicles: A biomarker of Parkinson’s disease progression

2016  -  Québec City, QC, CA


Université Laval

Project description

In recent years, there has been a dramatic surge of new findings that have fundamentally transformed our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular of Parkinson’s disease (PD). One of these has been to recognize the heterogeneity of the disease that has certainly hindered the development of treatments that could be applicable to larger cohorts of patients. In this context, it has become urgent to identify reliable biomarkers that can help in the diagnosis, stratification and tracking of this condition. In the quest for such tools, we have recently identified that extracellular vesicles (EV) derived from red blood cells, known to mediate communication between cells could be used to map and predict stages of PD. This grant proposal deals with validating this new clinical tool in a large cohort of patients and whether it can also predict disease progression. The goal is to develop a simple blood test that can readily be applied to clinical practice to help diagnosis and predict disease progression in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Relevance to the acceleration of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging

In our latest work, we have developed a unique tool using blood samples that is has immediate clinical relevance in patient stratification. We now wish to validate this tool in large cohorts of patients and to develop it as an agent by which to test and monitor new therapeutic agents. In particular, our test will be very attractive to industry as a adjunct in their new clinical trials given its ease of application and by so doing it will bring more effective medicines to the clinic and market and reduce the R&D cost and time to market for personalised medicines.

Anticipated outcome

The results obtained with this proposal have the potential to identify/validate a novel biomarker of Parkinson’s disease. Not only will our work with this novel investigative application transform our approach to diagnosing and understanding this disease and its treatment but it has the capacity to do this with a technology that, while being sophisticated, is simple at the point of sample collection. Thus the use of simple blood draws would mean that this test could be easily rolled out into standard clinical practice.