Molecular Pathology and Neuronal Networks in LRRK2 PD
Looking into the molecular pathology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) before motor symptoms arise can assist in the development of potential neuroprotective agents and biomarkers to track disease progression. Several genes, including mutations of Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), have been discovered providing important insights on the pathogenesis of PD. LRRK2 is an enzyme, encoded by the autosomal dominant Parkinson’s disease-8 (PARK8) gene, which is associated with an increased risk of PD. In this longitudinal study, we will use clinical, digital, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers as well as molecular positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, to explore disease pathology and neuronal networks in LRRK2 PD patients compared to idiopathic PD and healthy controls. The aim is to characterise molecular phenomena underlying LRRK2 PD with the hope of providing further insights into possible mechanisms taking place in PD and to help identify targets for disease-modifying therapeutics.