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Lifestyle, Age Linked to Diabetes-related Protein

Over the last decade researchers have amassed increasing evidence that relatively low levels of a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) can indicate an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome years in advance.

Mayo Clinic Study: Blood Biomarker Could Mark Severe Cognitive Decline, Quicker Progression Among Parkinson’s Patients

A genetic mutation, known as GBA, that leads to early onset of Parkinson’s disease and severe cognitive impairment (in about 4 to 7 percent of all patients with the disease) also alters how specific lipids, ceramides and glucosylceramides are metabolized. Mayo Clinic researchers have found that Parkinson’s patients who do not carry the genetic mutation also have higher levels of these lipids in the blood. Further, those who had Parkinson’s and high blood levels were also more likely to have cognitive impairment and dementia. The research was recently published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

The discovery could be an important warning for those with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. There is no biomarker to tell who is going to develop the disease — and who is going to develop cognitive impairment after developing Parkinson’s, says Michelle Mielke, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic researcher and first author of the study.

Cognitive impairment is a frequent symptom in Parkinson’s disease and can be even more debilitating for patients and their caregivers than the characteristic motor symptoms. The early identification of Parkinson’s patients at greatest risk of developing dementia is important for preventing or delaying the onset and progression of cognitive symptoms. Changing these blood lipids could be a way to stop the progression of the disease, says Dr. Mielke.

There is a suggestion this blood lipid marker also could help to predict who will develop Parkinson’s disease and this research is ongoing.

“There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but the earlier we catch it — the better chance we have to fight it,” says Dr. Mielke. “It’s particularly important we find a biomarker and identify it in the preclinical phase of the disease, before the onset even begins.”

Dr. Mielke’s lab is researching blood-based biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease because blood tests are less invasive and cheaper than a brain scan or spinal tap — other tools used to research the disease.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (U01 AG37526) and from George P. Mitchell and the late Cynthia W. Mitchell. The DEMPARK study was being funded by an unrestricted grant from Novartis and a grant from the International Parkinson Fonds (Deutschland) gGmbH (IPD). The continuation of the study (LANDSCAPE) is part of the Competence Network Degenerative Dementias (KNDD), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (project number 01GI1008C)).

Study: Plasma Ceramide and Glucosylceramide Metabolism Is Altered in Sporadic Parkinson’s Disease and Associated with Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Study [PLOS ONE]

Source: Mayo Clinic

DHMRI and Metabolon Announce Strategic Partnership to Provide Expanded Metabolomics Capabilities

The David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) at the North Carolina Research Campus and Metabolon, Inc., recently announced that they have entered into a strategic agreement to align metabolomics research services. Metabolon is a pioneering leader in discovery metabolomics and specializes in rapidly assessing metabolism in biological samples to quickly identify prospective biomarkers and to understand metabolic effects of treatments, interventions, nutritionals, etc. The agreement complements DHMRI’s mass spectrometry and NMR‐based metabolomics services through access to Metabolon’s industry‐leading high‐throughput biomarker discovery and profiling platform which provides an extensive, untargeted, broad metabolite survey of more than 4000 biochemicals.

“This agreement leverages the strengths of our organizations to best serve DHMRI collaborators to understand metabolism and ultimately answer key research questions and deliver healthy food products for consumers. We have worked extensively in food science and nutrition and recognize that our combined resources are indeed complementary. DHMRI is a center of excellence in nutrition research and we are delighted to do our part to meet their growing needs,” says Chris Bernard, senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Metabolon.

DHMRI is an established not‐for‐profit research institute that provides flexible, client‐focused research services to academia, government and industry collaborators. This agreement,
consistent with the DHMRI’s collaborative approach to scientific inquiry, provides partners with additional resources for metabolomics. Metabolon’s global metabolomic approach can
pinpoint active pathways which can be further interrogated by targeted and or customized approaches offered by the DHMRI Metabolomics team.

“We are excited to broaden the breadth of services offered by the DHMRI to our collaborators. The benefits stemming from the collective knowledge of our organizations will be readily
realized by researchers, companies and consumers,” said Steve Lommel Ph.D., Interim President, David H. Murdock Research Institute.

Source: David H. Murdock Research Institute

Quest Diagnostics Introduces Comprehensive Opioid Therapy Genetic Test Based on CYP450 Biomarker License with Transgenomic

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, recently announced the availability of a new lab-developed genetic test to aid the delivery of personalized opioid pain-relieving treatment. It is believed to be the first clinical lab to offer testing for variants in all cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes known to influence the CYP450 enzyme system, which affects metabolism of opioids and other medications.

Quest Diagnostics Introduces Comprehensive Opioid Therapy Genetic Test Based on CYP450 Biomarker License with Transgenomic

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, recently announced the availability of a new lab-developed genetic test to aid the delivery of personalized opioid pain-relieving treatment. It is believed to be the first clinical lab to offer testing for variants in all cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes known to influence the CYP450 enzyme system, which affects metabolism of opioids and other medications.