Last week, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) announced an enormous leap forward in the understanding of Parkinson’s disease with the discover of a Parkinson’s biomarker. Researchers have discovered a new tool that can reveal a key pathology of the disease: abnormal alpha-synuclein (known as the “Parkinson’s protein”) in brain and body cells.
The breakthrough opens a new chapter for research, with the promise of a future where every person living with Parkinson’s can expect improved care and treatments — and newly diagnosed individuals may never advance to full-blown symptoms.
The Parkinson’s biomarker breakthrough was achieved by an international coalition of scientists led by MJFF and its landmark clinical study, Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), funded by Shake It Up in Australia.
Shake It Up CEO Vicki Miller says, “This is a significant breakthrough for Parkinson’s disease research and a milestone in the pursuit of a cure. It highlights why it is so crucial to fund ground-breaking research projects that are focused on creating real change for people living with Parkinson’s now and into the future.”
What the Parkinson’s biomarker breakthrough means
The tool, called the α-synuclein seeding amplification assay (αSyn-SAA), can detect pathology in spinal fluid not only of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but also in individuals who have not yet been diagnosed or shown clinical symptoms of the disease, but are at a high risk of developing it.
The assay can confirm the presence of abnormal alpha-synuclein, detected in most people with PD, with astonishing accuracy: 93 percent of people with Parkinson’s who participated in the assay were proven to have abnormal alpha-synuclein.
To learn more about the Parkinson’s biomarker breakthrough, you can register to attend a webinar hosted by a panel of experts from MJFF. Sign up here.
Support cutting-edge Parkinson’s research
There is more progress being made in Parkinson’s research than ever before. This new breakthrough demonstrates the power of funding ground-breaking research that aims to slow, stop and cure Parkinson’s disease.
If you want to support Australian Parkinson’s research, simply click below to pledge a donation, participate in fundraising or sign up to take part in a clinical trial.
- Participate in Fundraising – Raise vital funds by getting your friends together for a picnic, or challenge yourself to pedal, push-up or pace for Parkinson’s. There are so many ways to fundraise and make a difference.
- Pledge a Donation – Pledge a donation for Parkinson’s research. 100% of all funds raised for Shake It Up Australia go directly to cutting-edge research, so you can be confident that your money is going straight to our best chance for a cure.
- Participate in Research – Be on the cutting edge of research and participate in clinical trials. Supporting research is a powerful way to make a difference for those living with Parkinson’s now and into the future.
In the Media
Shake It Up featured in The Australian to share the news about the biomarker breakthrough. Joanne Colquhoun and Christine Allison Jeyachandran shared their personal stories and what an early diagnosis would mean for those living with Parkinson’s, and our founder Clyde Campbell and Professor Dominic Rowe from Macquarie University discussed the discovery – the biggest breakthrough in Parkinson’s research since the 1960s.