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α-Synuclein: A Promising Biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders
Taku Hatano, Ayami Okuzumi, Gen Matsumoto, Taiji Tsunemi, Nobutaka Hattori
J Mov Disord. 2024;17(2):127-137.   Published online April 9, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.24075
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  • 266 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Mutations in the SNCA gene, which encodes α-synuclein (α-syn), play a key role in the development of genetic Parkinson’s disease (PD). α-Syn is a major component of Lewy bodies in PD and glial cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple system atrophy (MSA). Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder patients often progress to PD, dementia with Lewy bodies, or MSA, which are collectively known as α-synucleinopathies. The loss of dopaminergic neurons with Lewy bodies precedes motor dysfunction in these diseases, but the mechanisms of neurodegeneration due to α-syn aggregation are poorly understood. Monitoring α-syn aggregation in vivo could serve as a diagnostic biomarker and help elucidate pathogenesis, necessitating a simple and accurate detection method. Seed amplification assays (SAAs), such as real-time quaking-induced conversion and protein misfolding cyclic amplification, are used to detect small amounts of abnormally structured α-syn protofibrils, which are central to aggregation. These methods are promising for the early diagnosis of α-synucleinopathy. Differences in α-syn filament structures between α-synucleinopathies, as observed through transmission electron microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy, suggest their role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. SAAs may differentiate between subtypes of α-synucleinopathy and other diseases. Efforts are also being made to identify α-syn from blood using various methods. This review introduces body fluid α-syn biomarkers based on pathogenic α-syn seeds, which are expected to redefine α-synucleinopathy diagnosis and staging, improving clinical research accuracy and facilitating biomarker development.
Ultrastructures of α-Synuclein Filaments in Synucleinopathy Brains and Experimental Models
Airi Tarutani, Masato Hasegawa
J Mov Disord. 2024;17(1):15-29.   Published online November 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.23213
  • 1,786 View
  • 226 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Intracellular α-synuclein (α-syn) inclusions are a neuropathological hallmark of Lewy body disease (LBD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), both of which are termed synucleinopathies. LBD is defined by Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites in neurons, while MSA displays glial cytoplasmic inclusions in oligodendrocytes. Pathological α-syn adopts an ordered filamentous structure with a 5–10 nm filament diameter, and this conformational change has been suggested to be involved in the disease onset and progression. Synucleinopathies also exhibit characteristic ultrastructural and biochemical properties of α-syn filaments, and α-syn strains with distinct conformations have been identified. Numerous experimental studies have supported the idea that pathological α-syn self-amplifies and spreads throughout the brain, during which processes the conformation of α-syn filaments may drive the disease specificity. In this review, we summarize the ultrastructural features and heterogeneity of α-syn filaments in the brains of patients with synucleinopathy and in experimental models of seeded α-syn aggregation.

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  • α-Synuclein: A Promising Biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders
    Taku Hatano, Ayami Okuzumi, Gen Matsumoto, Taiji Tsunemi, Nobutaka Hattori
    Journal of Movement Disorders.2024; 17(2): 127.     CrossRef
Multiple System Atrophy: Advances in Diagnosis and Therapy
Hirohisa Watanabe, Sayuri Shima, Yasuaki Mizutani, Akihiro Ueda, Mizuki Ito
J Mov Disord. 2023;16(1):13-21.   Published online December 20, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.22082
  • 4,297 View
  • 432 Download
  • 3 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
This review summarizes improvements in understanding the pathophysiology and early clinical symptoms of multiple system atrophy (MSA) and advancements in diagnostic methods and disease-modifying therapies for the condition. In 2022, the Movement Disorder Society proposed new diagnostic criteria to develop disease-modifying therapies and promote clinical trials of MSA since the second consensus was proposed in 2008. Regarding pathogenesis, cutting-edge findings have accumulated on the interactions of α-synuclein, neuroinflammation, and oligodendroglia with neurons. In neuroimaging, introducing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning has notably improved diagnostic accuracy and individual analyses. Advancements in treatment have also been achieved, including immunotherapy therapy against α-synuclein and serotonin-targeted and mesenchymal stem cell therapies, which are thought to affect several aspects of the disease, including neuroinflammation. The accelerated progress in clarifying the pathogenesis of MSA over the past few years and the development of diagnostic techniques for detecting early-stage MSA are expected to facilitate the development of disease-modifying therapies for one of the most intractable neurodegenerative diseases.

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  • A Blinded Evaluation of Brain Morphometry for Differential Diagnosis of Atypical Parkinsonism
    Kazuya Kawabata, Florian Krismer, Beatrice Heim, Anna Hussl, Christoph Mueller, Christoph Scherfler, Elke R. Gizewski, Klaus Seppi, Werner Poewe
    Movement Disorders Clinical Practice.2024; 11(4): 381.     CrossRef
  • The potential of phosphorylated α‐synuclein as a biomarker for the diagnosis and monitoring of multiple system atrophy
    Toufik Abdul‐Rahman, Ranferi Eduardo Herrera‐Calderón, Arjun Ahluwalia, Andrew Awuah Wireko, Tomas Ferreira, Joecelyn Kirani Tan, Maximillian Wolfson, Shankhaneel Ghosh, Viktoriia Horbas, Vandana Garg, Asma Perveen, Marios Papadakis, Ghulam Md Ashraf, Ath
    CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Delivering the diagnosis of multiple system atrophy: a multicenter survey on Japanese neurologists’ perspectives
    Miki Yoshitake, Atsuhiko Sugiyama, Takayoshi Shimohata, Nobuyuki Araki, Masahide Suzuki, Kazumoto Shibuya, Kengo Nagashima, Nobutaka Hattori, Satoshi Kuwabara
    BMC Neurology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
Diagnostic Criteria for Dementia with Lewy Bodies: Updates and Future Directions
Masahito Yamada, Junji Komatsu, Keiko Nakamura, Kenji Sakai, Miharu Samuraki-Yokohama, Kenichi Nakajima, Mitsuhiro Yoshita
J Mov Disord. 2020;13(1):1-10.   Published online November 8, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.19052
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  • 1,707 Download
  • 47 Web of Science
  • 52 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
The aim of this article is to describe the 2017 revised consensus criteria for the clinical diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) with future directions for the diagnostic criteria. The criteria for the clinical diagnosis of probable and possible DLB were first published as the first consensus report in 1996 and were revised in the third consensus report in 2005. After discussion at the International DLB Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, in 2015, the International DLB Consortium published the fourth consensus report including the revised consensus criteria in 2017. The 2017 revised criteria clearly distinguish between clinical features and diagnostic biomarkers. Significant new information about previously reported aspects of DLB has been incorporated, with increased diagnostic weighting given to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and iodine-123-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) myocardial scintigraphy. Future directions include the development of the criteria for early diagnosis (prodromal DLB) and the establishment of new biomarkers that directly indicate Lewy-related pathology, including α-synuclein imaging, biopsies of peripheral tissues (skin, etc.) for the demonstration of α-synuclein deposition, and biochemical markers (cerebrospinal fluid/blood), as well as the pathological evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of the 2017 revised diagnostic criteria. In conclusion, the revised consensus criteria for the clinical diagnosis of DLB were reported with the incorporation of new information about DLB in 2017. Future directions include the development of the criteria for early diagnosis and the establishment of biomarkers directly indicative of Lewy-related pathology.

Citations

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Cerebrospinal Fluid Amyloid β1-42, Tau, and Alpha-Synuclein Predict the Heterogeneous Progression of Cognitive Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease
Ju-Hee Kang
J Mov Disord. 2016;9(2):89-96.   Published online May 25, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.16017
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  • 245 Download
  • 18 Web of Science
  • 18 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease with heterogeneous pathological and clinical features. Cognitive dysfunction, a frequent non-motor complication, is a risk factor for poor prognosis and shows inter-individual variation in its progression. Of the clinical studies performed to identify biomarkers of PD progression, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study is the largest study that enrolled drug-naïve and very early stage PD patients. The baseline characteristics of the PPMI cohort were recently published. The diagnostic utility of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, including alpha-synuclein (α-syn), total tau, phosphorylated tau at Thr181, and amyloid β1-42, was not satisfactory. However, the baseline data on CSF biomarkers in the PPMI study suggested that the measurement of the CSF biomarkers enables the prediction of future cognitive decline in PD patients, which was consistent with previous studies. To prove the hypothesis that the interaction between Alzheimer’s pathology and α-syn pathology is important to the progression of cognitive dysfunction in PD, longitudinal observational studies must be followed. In this review, the neuropathological nature of heterogeneous cognitive decline in PD is briefly discussed, followed by a summarized interpretation of baseline CSF biomarkers derived from the data in the PPMI study. The combination of clinical, biochemical, genetic and imaging biomarkers of PD constitutes a feasible strategy to predict the heterogeneous progression of PD.

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Mechanism of Anti-α-Synuclein Immunotherapy
Jun Sung Lee, Seung-Jae Lee
J Mov Disord. 2016;9(1):14-19.   Published online January 25, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14802/jmd.15059
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Immunization therapy targeting α-synuclein has emerged as a promising approach for Parkinson’s disease and perhaps for other synucleinopathies. Several antibodies have shown therapeutic effects in mouse models of synucleinopathies and have alleviated the pathological and behavioral phenotypes of these mice. The mechanisms through which the immunization therapy works were initially puzzling, especially given that α-synuclein is a typical cytosolic protein. Recent studies, however, suggested that extracellular α-synuclein is an important pathogenic entity, and hence, a target for immunotherapy. Here, we review the literature describing immunization therapy for synucleinopathies in mouse models and provide current thoughts on the potential mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of α-synuclein immunotherapy.

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