Depression is a common and challenging component of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Up to 70% of patients with PD experience depression. This clinical symptom is not only a result of PD, but a part of the condition itself. Study findings have shown that inflammation not only plays a part in the physical signs of PD, but is also involved in the development of depression. The increase in inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, in PD is detectable before signs of PD begin. These mediators may serve as important biomarkers of PD that can be utilized to detect PD and allow early intervention.
The p11 protein and mRNA (protein template) are reduced in various areas of the brain in mouse models of depression and in people with depression. A number of antidepressant treatments increase p11 levels. Researchers recently studied the expression of p11 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients without PD (controls) and those with PD, both with or without depression. The study involved the collection of PBMCs from the blood of patients and the measurement of p11 levels in various PBMC types, such as T cell subsets, monocytes, and NK cells. Also studied were the levels of various inflammatory mediators.
No changes in the make-up of PBMCs were noted, nor were there any differences in the levels of inflammatory mediators studied. However, the monocytes from patients with PD who had depression contained higher levels of p11 when compared to controls. The cytotoxic T cells from patients with PD, both with or without depression, had higher levels of p11 when compared to controls. These data warrant further research into p11 as a possible candidate for use as a biomarker for PD. The ability to use a biomarker for the early detection of PD can provide opportunities to implement therapies much earlier, and benefit the quality of life for patients with PD.
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Green, H.F. et al. "Peripheral Inflammatory Mediators and P11 Levels In Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Patients With Parkinson’s Disease". Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 57.null (2016): e24-e25. Print.