, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 39-52,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 14 Jul 2011

Biomarker candidates of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease for the evaluation of disease-modifying therapeutics


Reliable biomarkers that can be used for early diagnosis and tracking disease progression are the cornerstone of the development of disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The German Society of Experimental and Clinical Neurotherapeutics (GESENT) has convened a Working Group to review the current status of proposed biomarkers of neurodegeneration according to the following criteria and to develop a consensus statement on biomarker candidates for evaluation of disease-modifying therapeutics in PD. The criteria proposed are that the biomarker should be linked to fundamental features of PD neuropathology and mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in PD, should be correlated to disease progression assessed by clinical rating scales, should monitor the actual disease status, should be pre-clinically validated, and confirmed by at least two independent studies conducted by qualified investigators with the results published in peer-reviewed journals. To date, available data have not yet revealed one reliable biomarker to detect early neurodegeneration in PD and to detect and monitor effects of drug candidates on the disease process, but some promising biomarker candidates, such as antibodies against neuromelanin, pathological forms of α-synuclein, DJ-1, and patterns of gene expression, metabolomic and protein profiling exist. Almost all of the biomarker candidates were not investigated in relation to effects of treatment, validated in experimental models of PD and confirmed in independent studies.