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Diagnostic for Parkinson’s Disease

A novel IVD to diagnose patients at risk of developing Parkinson's or other degenerative diseases.

The Challenge

No specific test exists for diagnosing Parkinson's disease. Patients are currently diagnosed when they present with symptoms characteristic of the disease. These symptoms present relatively late, limiting the effectiveness of current interventions.

The Solution

We have developed a novel IVD to diagnosis patients who are at risk of developing Parkinson's diseases and/or other degenerative diseases i.e. Dementia with Lewy Bodies. The test is based on the finding that in some neurodegenerative diseases the alpha-synuclein protein changes its confirmation to form insoluble fibrils (aggregated alpha-synuclein). Our inventors have found that the aggregated alpha-synuclein is highly enriched in exosomes. Based on this finding the present diagnostic specifically measures the presence of aggregated alpha-synuclein protein in exosomes isolated from CSF, blood and/or urine.

Competitive Advantage

This new diagnostic detects the aggregated form of the Alpha-synuclein protein in exosomes which it is more sensitive than other methods, such as ELISA and other antibody detection techniques that look for total levels of alpha-synuclein rather than the aggregated form of the protein. This increased sensitivity means that we have been able to detect changes in pathology prior to the onset of symptoms.

Intellectual Property

  • title: Detection of pathological protein aggregration
  • international patent application no: WO 2019/171035 A1
  • applicant: Newcastle University


REF: KT180982

Dr Catrina Mullan: