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Exploring metabolic serum markers in Parkinson’s disease patients towards early diagnosis and therapeutic avenue

My name is Yuval Nash, and I'm a Ph.D. student at prof. Dan Frenkel's lab. Our lab is focused on inflammatory and metabolic process in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. We combine in-vitro, in-vivo and in-silico approaches, to explore the crosstalk between the inflammatory phenotype and metabolic impairments observed in these neurodegenerative diseases.

In recent years, accumulating line of evidence suggest a link between type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the risk to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD). Furthermore, it was previously suggested that some diabetes drugs can slow PD progression. Insulin plays an important role in glucose metabolism, but also acts as a neuropeptide in the brain and regulates food intake, cognitive function and neuronal survival. Similarly, insulin deficiency and resistance were found to be involved in neurodegenerative diseases. To date, there are no good markers for early diagnosis of PD or T2D, which may reflect stages of the diseases when intervention is most useful. In our project we aim to evaluate various serum markers as a tool for early diagnosis and treatment of PD. Our findings will allow determining biomarkers for PD and populations at PD risk, including identification of the PD population that will be candidates for combination of PD drugs and diabetes drugs.