MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yong Cheng, PhD, post-doc fellow
Section on Cellular Neurobiology
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Parkinson’s disease is the second most neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms of the disease are typically movement related. However, the nonmotor features in PD are increasingly recognized. Evidence suggests that inflammation may play a role in the development of AD, and a substantial number of studies have demonstrated altered levels of peripheral blood inflammatory cytokines in patients with Parkinson’s disease, but findings have been inconsistent for individual cytokines and between studies. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature, using a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize clinical data on blood cytokine levels in patients with PD, compared with healthy controls.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: The meta-analysis included 25 studies with 1547 patients and 1107 controls, and showed that patients with Parkinson’s disease had significantly increased tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 6, interleukin 1β, C-reactive protein, interleukin 10, RANTES and interleukin 2 levels in peripheral blood, compared with healthy controls
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our analysis suggests an increased inflammatory response in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This may provide an alternative explanation on some of the symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients. However, more research is needed to expand upon these findings.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future preclinical and clinical studies are needed to elucidate how the increased inflammatory response affects the PD development, and to investigate the inflammatory cytokines as potential therapeutic targets of PD. In addition, investigations into samples from Parkinson Progression Marker Initiative sponsored by Michael J. Fox Foundation may answer whether or not the inflammatory cytokines can serve as biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Our study also suggests that inflammatory cytokine levels in patients with Parkinson Disease are affected by age. However, the effect of age on cytokine levels in Parkinson Disease patients may also be secondary to other clinical variables, such as disease duration and disease severity. Thus, researchers who study cytokines in patients with Parkinson’s disease need to account for possible age-related differences in their future work.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Qin X, Zhang S, Cao C, Loh Y, Cheng Y. Aberrations in Peripheral Inflammatory Cytokine Levels in Parkinson Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Neurol. Published online September 26, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.2742.
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