Aiming for Study Comparability in Parkinson's Disease: Proposal for a Modular Set of Biomarker Assessments to be Used in Longitudinal Studies

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an example for a complex field of research, which is driven by themultifactorial etiology, the heterogeneity in phenotype and the variability in disease progression,as well as the presence of a long pre-diagnostic period, called prodromal PD, lasting up to decades(Postuma et al., 2010). The very slow, so far inevitably progressive, neurodegenerative process andthe multidimensional heterogeneity of symptoms in kind (motor and non-motor), time of onsetand speed of progression call for prediction markers and progression markers to understand theonset of neurodegeneration and its course. These markers would also help to establish endpointsfor neuroprotective treatment strategies aiming to modify disease progression. Because of thecomplexity, heterogeneity, and the progressive nature of PD, such predictive and progressionmarkers can only be identified in large cohorts and in studies with a longitudinal design.



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