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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that affects more than 10 million people worldwide. PD is a movement disorder, which causes tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. Although PD is characterized by degeneration of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, the precise cause of degeneration or loss of dopamine neurons is unknown. Studies suggest that specific gene mutations and environmental factors may trigger PD. Other studies suggest that abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein may cause degeneration of dopamine neurons, and that Lewy bodies which contain alpha-synuclein are a histological hallmark of PD. Recent studies suggest that high levels of Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may serve as a biomarker of PD. ApoE is the most abundant protein for lipid transport in the brain and a subtype, ApoE4, is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The present study reviewed the reliability of ApoE as a biomarker of PD and the role of ApoE in accumulation of alpha-synuclein. Hypothesis was two-folds: (1) ApoE level in the CSF is a reliable biomarker of PD; (2) ApoE contributes to the spread of alpha-synuclein in PD. Conclusion: Significantly high levels of ApoE in CSF and in the substantia nigra were shown in PD patients. This suggests that ApoE in CSF can serve as a reliable biomarker, and that ApoE in the substantia nigra as an additional biomarker. In PD, ApoE increased alpha-synuclein aggregation through alpha-synuclein’s high binding affinity for ApoE-containing vesicles. This suggests that ApoE contributes to the spread of alpha-synuclein in PD. Further research is warranted.

Publication Date

Spring 2021


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Role Of Apolipoprotein E In Parkinson's Disease



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