Current Paradigms and Innovative Research
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the silent killers. Despite a massive investment, the failure rate in drug development is 99.6%. The largest hurdle in developing a radical therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a lack of a simple diagnostic blood test. Current diagnostics are expensive, unreliable, and cumbersome brain imaging systems to scan b-amyloid plaques or tau fibers. There is a better way. A simple blood based biomarker will pave the way to radical and effective AD and PD treatment.
The Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) is responsible for cleaning misfolded or damaged proteins in cells. The UPS can be likened to the quality control and protein trafficking system of the cell. If the UPS is defective, cell pathways are clogged, and protein aggregates accumulate. A dysfunctional UPS marked by changes in the pattern of ubiquitylated proteins is likely the root cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and PD.
This failure in the UPS can be leveraged to diagnose AD and PD much earlier than previously thought possible. The signatures of AD and PD associated with a dysfunctional UPS manifest long before outward symptoms of the disease become evident. By following these signatures in the blood, we can proactively diagnose neurodegenerative diseases early, as well as monitor the course of AD and PD as it progresses.
LifeSensors believes educating the general public about UPS is key to helping researchers gain the support they require. To support this initiative, LifeSensors has published a recent blog post, Ubiquitin: Hope for the Future of Alzheimer’s Research. It is our hope that these resources will be useful in laying a foundation of common understanding, which will in turn lead to increased support towards the future of AD and PD research.
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