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Studying the Role of Inflammation in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases

Recruiting

This study is being conducted to better understand the role of the immune response, including inflammation, in Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Participants will have blood drawn and complete brief questionnaires.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
55 Years 90 All Yes
May 1, 2019
June 2023
120

Participants with Parkinson's Disease:

  • Parkinson's disease diagnosis based on U.K. Brain Bank criteria
  • Must demonstrate two of the following three symptoms: rest tremor, rigidity, or bradykinesia, that improves with dopamine medication
  • Age at recruitment: 55 years old
  • Age at motor onset: >45 years old
  • Parkinson's disease onset age: between 50 and 75 years old
  • Willingness to have genotyping and genetic studies

Participants with Mild Alzheimer's Disease (AD) or Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI):

  • Physician diagnosis of mild Alzheimer's disease or amnestic mild cognitive impairment
  • Age: 55 years old
  • Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR) score equal to 0.5 or 1
  • Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score of 20-26
  • Willingness to have DNA sequenced and studied

Healthy Volunteers:

Parkinson's Disease Control Group:

  • Age: 55 years old
  • No Parkinson's disease in in first-degree blood relatives (i.e., parents, children, brothers, and sisters)
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score: 26
  • Willingness to have DNA sequenced and studied

AD/aMCI Control Group:

  • Age: 55 years old
  • Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR): 0
  • MoCA score: 26
  • Willingness to have DNA sequenced and studied

Participants with Parkinson's Disease:

  • Symptoms of a Parkinson-Plus disorder (e.g., progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration) including:
    • cerebellar signs
    • supranuclear gaze palsy
    • apraxia and other cortical signs, or prominent autonomic failure
    • neuroleptic treatment at time of onset of parkinsonism
    • active treatment with a neuroleptic at time of study entry
    • history of repeated strokes with stepwise progression of parkinsonism
    • history of repeated head injury
    • history of definite encephalitis
    • prominent gait imbalance early in the course (<5 years)
  • History of dementia
  • Recent history of cancer, in the past three years, except skin cancer
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Disease of the immune system (e.g., chronic leukemia, HIV)
  • Taking chronic immune-modulatory medication (e.g., oral steroids, azathioprine, rituximab)
  • Inability to provide informed consent

Participants with AD or aMCI:

  • Advanced Alzheimer's disease
  • Other forms of dementia including frontotemporal dementia or other dementia associated with parkinsonism (e.g., dementia with Lewy bodies, or Parkinson's disease dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy or corticobasal degeneration)
  • History of Parkinson's disease
  • Recent history of cancer (in the past three years) except skin cancer
  • Autoimmune disease or disease of the immune system (e.g., chronic leukemia, HIV)
  • Taking chronic immune-modulatory medication (e.g., oral steroids, azathioprine, rituximab)
  • Inability to provide informed consent

Healthy Volunteers:

      Parkinson's Disease Control Group:

  • Recent history of cancer, in the past three years, except skin cancer
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Disease of the immune system (e.g., chronic leukemia, HIV)
  • Taking chronic immune-modulatory medication (e.g., oral steroids, azathioprine, rituximab)
  • Inability to provide informed consent

      AD/aMCI Control Group:

  • History of Parkinson's disease
  • Recent history of cancer, in the past three years, except skin cancer
  • Autoimmune disease or disease of the immune system (e.g., chronic leukemia, HIV)
  • Taking chronic immune-modulatory medication (e.g., oral steroids, azathioprine, rituximab)
  • Inability to provide informed consent

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are characterized by the clumping of specific proteins, but how and if this clumping results in cell death is unknown. The brain responds to this protein clumping with an immune response inflammation. This study will help to better understand the role of immune response inflammation in Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

The specific aims of this study include identifying:

  1. The protein(s) or protein segments that may trigger inflammation
  2. The immune cells that may recognize and kill brain cells (neurons and astrocytes)
  3. The genetic profile associated with this immune response (genetic analysis of the immune system)

Study participants will attend up to two study visits. Each visit will involve brief questionnaires and blood draw collections up to 250 cc (~17 tablespoons).

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Columbia University Medical Center
New York New York 10032 Recruiting Yaqian Xu, MD, MPH
646-774-5023
yx2389@cumc.columbia.edu

Columbia University

Name Role Affiliation
Roy Alcalay, MD, MS Principal Investigator Columbia University
Karen Marder, MD, MPH Principal Investigator Columbia University
David Sulzer, PhD Principal Investigator Columbia University

Name Phone Email
Yaqian Xu, MD, MPH (646)774-5023 yx2389@cumc.columbia.edu

NCT04239079

Autoimmune Features of Neurodegenerative Disorders