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A sensitive approach to Parkinsons disease


Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting an estimated 7 million people worldwide. Current diagnostic procedures rely on observations of late-stage motor symptoms, meaning delays and misdiagnoses occur. For individuals, this means therapies which delay the severity of Parkinson’s Disease may not begin until physical symptoms are present.

Our project, ‘muninn’, investigated the use of biosensors to detect pre-motor symptom biomarkers associated with Parkinson’s Disease and how early diagnosis may impact patient health. The project development was informed by patient groups, health professionals and diagnosticians, resulting in a suite of biosensors targeting biomarkers found in clinical samples. We investigated CRISPR SHERLOCK system for detection of a Parkinson’s Disease-specific mRNA biomarker, and biosensors for the detection of glutathione and eicosane to increase confidence in an indicative diagnosis. By integrating feedback from clinicians and charities, ‘muninn’ aims to provide a foundation for developing diagnostic procedures for early-stage Parkinson’s Disease.