A close up of a ferris wheel

The Norwegian Center for Movement Disorders

alpha-synuclein seeding amplification assay

A major bottleneck for the effective care and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the lack of an early definite diagnosis. Today, PD diagnosis relies on specialist clinical examination and extensive follow-up due to overlapping symptoms with other diseases, and early accurate diagnosis is challenging. 

A defining pathological feature of PD is the abnormal aggregation of a protein called a-synuclein (a-syn), which will eventually form insoluble deposits within neuronal cells (Lewy bodies).  A novel biomarker assay, called a-syn seeding amplification assay (SAA), marks a major breakthrough in PD diagnosis. The test detects aggregation-prone a-syn seeds in biofluids and peripheral tissue and is being developed to support a clinical diagnosis.  

Presently, only a handful of centers worldwide, including our laboratory in Stavanger, have successfully implemented this assay. Our assay is tailored to a-syn seed detection through the innovation of a novel assay chemistry that facilitates seed aggregation, counteracts reaction inhibition by the sample matrix, and allows fast detection within 48h. Initially tested on participants of the Norwegian ParkWest study (see: Seed Amplification Assay as a Diagnostic Tool in Newly-Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease (ios.press.com)), we are now working with other European groups to test the utility of the assay in populations of patients with PD and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB).  

Key funding sources 

The project was imitated as part of the Norwegian Resrarch Council funded ParkDem project and has now received funding from the Norwegian Research Councils Qualification funds.  

Last updated 2/23/2024