Cutting Edge Research

Cutting Edge Research

Additional Research: New diagnostic methods for neurodegenerative diseases:

Area terapeutica

Aggregate species of α-synuclein, tau protein, prion protein, and TDP-43, among others, are nowadays considered responsible for the death of neurons in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, so far there is no reliable biomarker for detecting or following the evolution of these pathologies.

Quantification of aggregated species of these proteins in biological fluids would represent the most promising strategy for the early detection of these disorders. In these cases, classical techniques do not have the sensitivity, reliability, or reproducibility necessary to constitute a widespread diagnostic and prognostic method. This is due to the great difficulty of obtaining specific antibodies to recognize the great diversity of aggregated species.


Currently, there is no biochemical analysis of blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or a diagnostic test for PD, and clinical manifestations in early stages are difficult to detect. The lack of a widespread analysis or diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease is relevant if we consider that new therapies against neurodegenerative disorders will require the ability to detect their earliest presymptomatic manifestations, since lost neurons generally cannot be replaced.

In this context, the main objective of this project is to develop and validate novel tools for the early detection of α-synuclein and tau aggregates in biological fluids and novel PET radiotracers based on our knowledge of the molecular determinants that strongly bind toxic species of α-synuclein and tau. This development would revolutionize the field of neurodegenerative pathologies.