AsianScientist (May 22, 2019) – In a study published in Scientific Reports, reseachers in Japan have developed a device that can assess the degree of α-synuclein aggregation in the brain, which is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.
Presently there are no disease-modifying therapies for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In recent years, researchers have explored strategies to prevent α-synuclein aggregation in the brain, which is known to contribute to the development and progression of the neurological condition. However, methods to assess levels of α-synuclein have not been well established.
In this study, scientists led by Professor Hideki Mochizuki at Osaka University, Japan, developed a fully automated tool that can accurately detect α-synuclein aggregation in cerebrospinal fluid using ultrasonication. They called their invention the HANdai Amyloid Burst Inducer (HANABI) device.
The team demonstrated that the HANABI device could calculate the seeding activity of α-synuclein—a measure of the propensity for normal α-synuclein protein to form aggregates. The readout of the HANABI assay correlated with the uptake of 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine in patients, which is a prominent radiological feature of Parkinson’s disease. Low uptake of 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine has been linked to neurodegeneration.
“This system has the potential to distinguish patients with Parkinson’s disease from controls based on seeding activity of α-synuclein aggregates in cerebrospinal fluid,” said Mochizuki. “This tells us that the HANABI device is sensitive enough to have real clinical potential, and supports the idea that α-synuclein aggregation is a marker of the disease.”
Lead author Dr. Keita Kakuda of Osaka University added that the HANABI device was developed to overcome limitations of existing methods and process multiple samples simultaneously, shortening the time taken to get a readout from around 10 days to only several hours.
The authors expect the HANABI device to be used for clinical diagnosis, severity assessment and the evaluation of treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
The article can be found at: Kakuda et al. (2019) Ultrasonication-based Rapid Amplification of Α-synuclein Aggregates in Cerebrospinal Fluid.
Source: Osaka University; Photo: Shutterstock.
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