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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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News Release: Lower Serum Biomarkers Found in Early Untreated Parkinson's Disease

International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Nice, France

EMBARGOED until Monday, September 23, 2019
Media Contact:
Elizabeth Clausen, +1 414-276-2145,


Lower Serum Biomarkers Found in Early Untreated Parkinson’s Disease

NICE, FRANCE – Patients with drug-naïve Parkinson’s disease show lower serum levels of multiple cytokines, according to a study released today at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders®.

Identifying serum biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders is desirable as they are relatively non-invasive and affordable. Several serum biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease previously have been identified, but only in advanced patients on dopaminergic treatment.

Sixty-one drug-naïve PD patients and 51 healthy controls were included in the study, led by Petr Dusek and a team of researchers in Prague, Czech Republic. The researchers found that untreated PD patients had significantly lower serum levels of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), and Matrix Metalloproteinases-9 (MMP9) when compared to controls. In addition, the results may support that MMP9 could be used as a biomarker for PD with acceptable sensitivity and specificity.

Brit Mollenhauer, Attending Physician at Movement Disorder Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik and Assistant Professor at University Medical Center Goettingen in Kassel, Germany states, “The increasing evidence for a neuroinflammatory process in Parkinson’s disease is recognized by several abstracts at this year’s International Congress. The study by Dusek et al quantified a panel of inflammatory-linked analytes in serum of 61 drug-naïve patients and 51 controls and found lower levels of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), and Matrix Metalloproteinases-9 (MMP9).”

Mollenhauer continues, “Overall this indicates the involvement of inflammatory processes in the disease, that still need to investigate in independent and larger cohorts, and further as to interactions with disease progression also taking into account comorbidities and comedication and other possible confounder, such as the gut microbiome.”

About the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders®: Meeting attendees gather to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Over 5,100 physicians and medical professionals from more than 95 countries will be in attendance to view 2,200 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society:

The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), an international society of over 8,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about MDS, visit

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