Cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, and saliva in the BioFIND study: Relationships among biomarkers and Parkinson's disease Features

The Fox Investigation of New Biomarker Discovery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Objective: Examine relationships among neurodegenerative biomarkers and PD motor and nonmotor symptoms. Background: CSF alpha-synuclein is decreased in PD versus healthy controls, but whether plasma and saliva alpha-synuclein differentiate these groups is controversial. Correlations of alpha-synuclein among biofluids (CSF, plasma, saliva) or biomarkers (eg, beta-amyloid, tau [total, phosphorylated]) are not fully understood. The relationships of these biomarkers with PD clinical features remain unclear. Methods: BioFIND, a cross-sectional, observational study, examines clinical and biomarker characteristics in moderate-advanced PD and matched healthy controls. We compared alpha-synuclein concentrations across diagnosis, biofluids, and CSF biomarkers. Correlations of CSF biomarkers and MDS-UPDRS, motor phenotype, MoCA, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder questionnaire scores in PD were examined. Results: CSF alpha-synuclein was lower in PD versus controls (P =.01), controlling for age, gender, and education. Plasma and saliva alpha-synuclein did not differ between PD and controls, and alpha-synuclein did not significantly correlate among biofluids. CSF beta-amyloid1-42 was lower in PD versus controls (P <.01), and correlated weakly with MoCA recall scores (r = 0.23, P =.02). CSF alpha-synuclein was lower in the postural instability/gait difficulty phenotype than other motor phenotypes (P <.01). No CSF biomarkers predicted or correlated with total motor or rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder scores. CSF alpha-synuclein correlated with beta-amyloid1-42, total-tau, and phosphorylated-tau (r = 0.41, 0.81, 0.43, respectively; Ps <.001). Conclusion: Lower CSF alpha-synuclein is associated with diagnosis and motor phenotype in moderate-advanced PD. Plasma and saliva alpha-synuclein neither correlate with CSF alpha-synuclein, nor distinguish PD from controls. CSF beta-amyloid1-42 remains a potential biomarker for cognitive impairment in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-288
Number of pages7
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


  • alpha-synuclein
  • amyloid
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • postural instability gait difficulty
  • tau


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