Limitations and Promise of Synuclein Biomarkers in Parkinson Disease Diagnosis: David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN

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The director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute talked about that although synuclein biomarkers have shown high sensitivity in identifying Parkinson disease, further studies are needed to address their limitations. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"While the data is very promising for synuclein biomarkers, both the Syn-One skin biopsy test and the cerebral spinal fluid test from Amperon, we still don't have studies that compare patients with synucleinopathy to patients with tauopathies, some of these other proteinopathies. We still need a little bit more time to study what is the utility of these tests in differentiating some of those tough cases."

Differentiating patients with atypical parkinsonisms from idopathic Parkinson disease (PD) can be a significant challenge for clinicians making a clinical diagnosis because of the overlap of symptoms. For example, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) share similar pathologic clinical features and include a number of phenotypic variants.1 Therefore, it is critical for clinicians to make an appropriate diagnosis as it will determine the best approach for treatment and management. Research shows that inappropriate treatment offers limited benefit to patients, creating complex care needs and increasing patient burden.

At the 3rd Annual Advanced Therapeutics in Movement and Related Disorders (ATMRD) Congress, held by the PMD Alliance from June 22-25, 2024, David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN, presented a talk on diagnostic pearls in atypical parkinsonism. In the talk, he spoke on how clinicians can distinguish the clinical and pathological features of each atypical parkinsonian syndrome from idiopathic PD. Additional he presented on how to identify key features that may indicate red flags for atypical parkinsonism, and assessed the recent advances in diagnostic and treatments available.

Shprecher, the director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, sat down with NeurologyLive®at the Congress to discuss how diagnostic tests, such as the Syn-One skin biopsy test and the cerebral spinal fluid test from Amperon, differentiates in their approaches to detecting PD. Shprecher, who also serves as a clinical associate professor at University of Arizona-Phoenix, spoke about the main limitations of current studies on synuclein biomarkers for PD. Furthermore, he explained the importance of comparing synucleinopathy and tauopathy in patients for future research.

Click here for more coverage of ATMRD 2024.

REFERENCES
1. McFarland NR. Diagnostic Approach to Atypical Parkinsonian Syndromes. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2016;22(4 Movment Disorders):1117-1142. doi:10.1212/CON.0000000000000348
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