COMMENTARY

Synaptic Proteins Help Distinguish Neurodegenerative Diseases

Alan R. Jacobs, MD

Disclosures

January 28, 2019

This is the Medscape Neurology Minute. I'm Dr Alan Jacobs.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute have utilized in-depth quantitative proteomics to explore synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative dementias.[1]

They compared prefrontal cortex in 32 postmortem human brains of prospectively followed patients with Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and adults without dementia (controls).

The authors identified 25 significantly altered synaptic proteins in the various dementia groups. Many of these proteins were further validated in a larger 92-brain cohort using ELISA or western blot.

They found that both the degree of cognitive impairment before death and the rate of cognitive decline were significantly correlated with loss of the SNAP47, SYBU, LRFN2, SV2C, and GRIA3 proteins.

Moreover, these five proteins were able to differentiate Parkinson disease with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and Alzheimer disease from controls with high sensitivity and specificity, and to reliably discriminate Alzheimer disease from Parkinson disease with dementia.

The authors concluded that these particular synaptic proteins are important for predicting and discriminating between neurodegenerative diseases, and should be targets for early disease intervention.

This has been the Medscape Neurology Minute. I'm Dr Alan Jacobs.

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