Parkinson's disease (PD) and atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD), including multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD), are a group of neurodegenerative diseases sharing many similar signs and symptoms but distinguished by their particular clinical features, treatment response, prognosis and mortality. The differential diagnosis may be challenging, especially in early disease stages. Considering the importance of an accurate diagnosis both for clinical management and for research, new diagnostic tools are needed. In this study, we investigated 56 PD, 42 MSA, 39 PSP, 9 CBD patients, and 24 healthy controls. After screening the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteome using surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS), we identified 4 proteins (ubiquitin [mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) 8590], beta2-microglobulin [m/z 11730], and 2 secretogranin 1 [chromogranin B] fragments [m/z 7260 and m/z 6250]) that differentiated healthy controls and PD patients from patients with APD. However, they could not differentiate PD patients from controls. As none of these changes were APD subgroup-specific, they most likely reflect the intensity and/or extent of the neurodegenerative process in general.
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