As the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) moves forward, NINDS will work to update the Parkinson's disease community on the progress of the individual PDBP projects and on presentations and workshops relevant to PDBP. To learn the latest developments in the NINDS PDBP please check this website often.

June 2016 – The NINDS Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) enrolls 1436 participants! Enrollment is 98% complete for this biomarker effort.

NeuroX data available in the PDBP DMR in February 2015. The NeuroX array represents the world-wide efforts of many geneticists, neurologists and neuroscientists interested in designing a genotyping solution that can capture key disease causing and risk variants for neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT), Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), myasthenia gravis, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). The NeuroX array includes 16,000 GWAS derived or GWAS related variants across the neurodegenerative diseases outlined above, as well as, 7,485 rare sequenced based variants. This custom content is included on the Illumina HumanExome array v1.1 (242,901 variants). To learn more about the NeuroX array please see: NeuroX, a fast and efficient genotyping platform for investigation of neurodegenerative diseases.(2014) Nails et al., Neurobiology of Aging [Epub ahead of print]
Launched in January 2013, the NINDS Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) aims to accelerate the search for biomarkers through eleven research projects. Seven of the research sites also collect clinical samples using a standardized methodology for the collection of blood, DNA, and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Read more about the PDBP in the NINDS PDBP blog by Story Landis.

Congratulations are in order!

  • The University of Alabama (Birmingham) has enrolled 581 participants  and completed electronic documentation for 586 baselines visits as of June 3, 2016.
  • Pennsylvania State University at Hershey has enrolled 249 participants and completed electronic documentation for 230 baselines visits, 178 six month visits, 161 twelve month, 167 eighteen month visits, 135 twenty-four month visits, 85 thirty month visits and 48 thirty-six month visits as of June 3, 2016.
  • The University of Texas Southwestern has enrolled 238 participants and completed electronic documentation for 215 baseline visits and 228 six month visits, 196 twelve month visits, 174 eighteen month visits, 128 twenty-four month visits, 78 thirty month visits and 2 thirty-six month visits as of June 3, 2016.
  • The University of Florida has enrolled 205 participants and completed electronic documentation for 202 baseline and 95 twelve month visits as of June 3, 2016.
  • The Brigham and Women's Hospital Inc., Harvard Medical School has enrolled 76 participants and completed electronic documentation of 73 baseline visits, 59 six month visits, 32 twelve month visits, 26 eighteen month visits, 15 twenty-four month visits, 12 thirty month visits and 1 thirty-six month visit as of June 3, 2016.
  • Johns Hopkins University has enrolled 117 participants and completed electronic documentation for 79 baseline visits, 111 six month visits, 96 twelve month visits, 86 eighteen month visits, 72 twenty-four month visits, 53 thirty month visits, 23 thirty-six month visits and 3 forty-two month visits as of June 3, 2016.
  • The University of Washington has enrolled 11 participants and completed electronic documentation for 10 baseline visits as of June 3, 2016.

PDBP Newsletter

The fifth edition of the PDBP Newsletter is available. PDBP Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 1

PDBP Newsletter Vol. 3 Issue 1


Press releases, workshop summaries, journal articles and editorials:

  • NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program Meeting, Bethesda MD (September 22 , 2014)
    On September 22, 2014, representatives from non-government organizations, NINDS staff and Principal Investigators (PIs), and clinical and data management experts from each project sponsored under the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) gathered to discuss progress over the last twelve months and future plans for the consortium.

    Agenda (pdf) Executive Summary (pdf) Participant List (pdf)

  • Plasma exosomal α-synuclein is likely CNS derived and increased in Parkinson’s disease.
    Exosomes are small vesicles that are shed from cells and found in all body fluids including plasma, blood, CSF and urine. Exosomes carry a variety of cargoes including RNA, DNA and protein. Recently, Dr. Jing Zhang and investigators from the University of Washington isolated exosomes from the plasma of 267 individuals with Parkinson’s disease and 215 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects, and measured the level of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In the exosomes from individuals with PD, levels of alpha-synuclein were significantly higher than the levels of alpha-synuclein measured in exosomes isolated from healthy age-matched control subjects. Dr. Zhang’s group hypothesizes that this alpha-synuclein is released from neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), via exosomes. These exosomes carrying alpha-synuclein are subsequently transported from the CNS via the blood. To determine if the alpha-synuclein level in exosomes isolated from plasma, is a reliable marker of either disease progression or disease severity, further studies in an independent PD cohort will be needed to validate these findings. Acta Neuropathology 2014, July 6.
  • Automated gait and balance parameters diagnose and correlate with severity in Parkinson disease.
    Gait abnormalities and postural instability are symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which are believed to increase with disease severity. Dr. Richard Dewey and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used a computerized system that involves attaching sensors to the wrists, ankles, chest and back to measure postural sway, postural transitions, and trunk and limb movements. Each sensor contains an accelerometer, gryoscope and magnetometer and by utilizing these devices, Dr Dewey’s laboratory measured gait and balance in 135 individuals with early to moderate Parkinson’s disease and 66 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. Both age and gender, significantly influence gait and postural stability, and this is true both for individuals with PD as well as healthy controls, so these variables were taken into account in all analyses. In this cohort of individuals, who are part of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP), quantitative measure of gait and postural stability demonstrated significant differences between individuals with PD in comparison to age and gender-matched healthy subjects. Differences in quantitative measures of gait and balance also correlated with disease severity. J. Neurol. Sci. 2014, July 19.
  • Clinical data and Biospecimen Resources are available to academic and industry researchers for Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Discovery Projects through the NINDS sponsored PDBP
    PAR 14-259 Parkinson's Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP) Discovery Projects (U01): The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to support up to three years of study for the discovery, assay optimization, and replication stages required for the development of biological biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is expected that studies funded under this FOA will integrate with and enhance the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP). Discovery or pilot projects may use samples from either the PDBP or other extant biospecimens and data, as long as consent for the extant biospecimens and data enables deposition of all data into the PDBP Data Management Resource (DMR). It is expected that the replication stage study will use PDBP biospecimens and data.

    Academic and industry investigators interested in access to clinical data and biospecimen resources developed through the NINDS PDBP initiative can request access through the PDBP Data Management Resource (DMR). The PDBP DMR offers new "Query" and "NINDS Biorepository Order" tools that enable investigators to query clinical data and request biospecimens for PD biomarker discovery research. The Query tool is based on NINDS PD common data elements and unique elements created within the PDBP DMR. The Query tool eables searches to be done across studies, clinical forms and/or data elements. Detailed study synopses and the recently developed Data Dictionary provide information on the collection parameters and variables associated with PDBP data. The Data Dictionary helps researchers to better define data searches and analyze the resulting data. The NINDS Biorepository catalog, which is a study within the PDBP DMR, enables researchers to query for biospecimens (DNA, RNA, plasma, serum, and CSF) that have been collected under a standardized set of operating procedures. To obtain access to the biospecimens selected, the investigator will provide a description of the proposed biomarker discovery research project and a detailed power analysis of the proposed study. The requests will be reviewed by the PDBP Biospecimen Resource Access Committee (BRAC) and decisions on the requests will be communicated to the investigator in a timely fashion.

Upcoming Events:

  • 4th PDBP Investigator Meeting, August 2016.
Archived Press Releases, Workshop Summaries, Journal Articles and Editorials