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Accurate diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease

This sensitive, rapid and highly accurate assay offers a less invasive mechanism for initial diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. This would facilitate early intervention and implementation of an appropriate care package.

Senior Patient Having Consultation With Nurse In Office


Diagnostic for use with suspected cases of Parkinson’s disease.


Early stage laboratory data / Comprehensive in vitro analysis.


UK priority patent filed in July 2016. 


Licensing and/or collaborative research.


Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which affects 4 million people worldwide, is difficult and inaccurate as there are no standard laboratory tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosis is currently made via a combination of signs, symptoms and family history, in addition to brain scan techniques attempting to rule out differential diagnosis. As a result, by the time diagnosis is made, the disease has often progressed to a level whereby over 60% of dopaminergic neurons in key regions of the basal ganglia have been lost.


Although Parkinson’s disease is associated with the deposition of α-synuclein, and its use as a biomarker has been previously proposed, the results have been inconsistent. This technology makes use of zirconium/silica beads in a standard RT-QuIC assay to facilitate the reaction of flurophores that bind to α-synuclein aggregates from patient samples. This assay can detect α -synuclein aggregation in cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) with sensitivities of up to 95% and accuracy of 100% with respect to Parkinson’s so may be suitable as an initial test for accurate and rapid diagnosis or dementia differential diagnosis.

This assay can detect α-synuclein aggregation in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s CSF, with sensitivities of 92% and 95%, respectively, and with an overall specificity of 100% when compared to Alzheimer and control CSF. A total of 99 patient CSF samples were utilized for the study. Patients with neuropathologically confirmed tauopathies gave negative results. A study is currently underway to test the applicability of this test using blood samples in place of CSF.


  • Allows the inducement of the reaction to occur
  • Provides an alternative to more invasive and expensive tests
  • Objective high sensitivity and specific test as opposed to subject diagnosis based on a wide range of parameters
  • Implementation of appropriate care package more quickly


Fairfoul D et al. Alpha-synuclein RT-QuIC in the CSF of patients with alpha-synucleinopathies. Ann. Clin. Trans. Neuro 2016.

Please note, header image is purely illustrative.

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