Decreased alpha-synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid of aged individuals and subjects with Parkinson's disease

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Oct 13;349(1):162-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.08.024. Epub 2006 Aug 14.


There is ample biochemical, pathological, and genetic evidence that the metabolism of alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). To examine whether quantification of alpha-syn in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is potentially informative in the diagnosis of PD, we developed a specific ELISA system and measured the concentration of alpha-syn in CSF from 33 patients with PD (diagnosed according to UK PD Society Brain Bank criteria) and 38 control subjects including 9 neurologically healthy individuals. We found that PD patients had significantly lower alpha-syn levels in their CSF than the control groups (p<0.0001) even after adjusting for gender and age. Age was independently associated with lower alpha-syn levels. Logistic regression analysis showed that reduction in CSF alpha-syn served as a significant predictor of PD beyond age and gender alone (area under ROC curve, c=0.882). Furthermore, we observed a close inverse correlation between alpha-syn levels in CSF and assigned Hoehn and Yahr score in this cohort of 71 living subjects (p<0.0001), even after adjusting for age. These findings identify in the quantification of alpha-syn from CSF a potential laboratory marker to aid the clinical diagnosis of PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Sex Factors
  • alpha-Synuclein / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • alpha-Synuclein