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Epigenetic changes observed in blood may point to early stages in Parkinson disease

Date:
September 25, 2013
Source:
Landes Bioscience
Summary:
Researchers have now shown that a distinctive pattern of epigenetic modifications is observed in specific genes associated with Parkinson Disease. Even more interesting, these changes could be easily analyzed in blood samples from patients, which appear to replicate the "epigenetic status" of brain tissue cells, potentially simplifying early diagnosis of the disease.

Parkinson disease, a neurodegenerative disorder in which both genetic and environmental factors play important roles, has been associated with epigenetic changes (those molecular modifications that alter the behavior of genes without changing the DNA sequence). Because accurate diagnosis is not easy for this disease, scientists are continuously trying to identify early signs of the disease that enable treatment before major neurological damage occurs.

In an article published in the October issue of Epigenetics, those epigenetic changes appear to be great candidates as early stage biomarkers for Parkinson Disease.

Researchers from UCSD have now shown that a distinctive pattern of epigenetic modifications (in this case called DNA methylation) is observed in specific genes associated with the disease. Even more interesting, these changes could be easily analyzed in blood samples from patients, which appear to replicate the "epigenetic status" of brain tissue cells, potentially simplifying early diagnosis of the disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Landes Bioscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eliezer Masliah, Wilmar Dumaop, Douglas Galasko, Paula Desplats. Distinctive patterns of DNA methylation associated with Parkinson disease: Identification of concordant epigenetic changes in brain and peripheral blood leukocytes. Epigenetics, 2013; 8 (10) DOI: 10.4161/epi.25865

Cite This Page:

Landes Bioscience. "Epigenetic changes observed in blood may point to early stages in Parkinson disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925092235.htm>.
Landes Bioscience. (2013, September 25). Epigenetic changes observed in blood may point to early stages in Parkinson disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925092235.htm
Landes Bioscience. "Epigenetic changes observed in blood may point to early stages in Parkinson disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925092235.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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