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NIH to Fund Studies that Adapt Adult Biomarkers to Children

The National Institutes of Health announced Thursday that the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) will support studies that propose adapting adult biomarkers to children. This would include the application and validation of biomarkers developed in adults to pediatric diagnosis, prognosis, and estimation of disease progression, toxicity and response to therapy.

Biomarker Promise for Parkinson’s Disease

Reliable biomarkers that can be used for early diagnosis and tracking disease progression are the cornerstone of research into disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Although important strides have been made in biomarker research, for Parkinson’s disease (PD) as for other diseases, no validated, inexpensive, and simple markers are available. The launch of the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a public-private partnership spearheaded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation that aims to identify clinical, imaging, and biological markers of disease progression is therefore welcome news. But what do patients and the research community stand to gain from this initiative and can it fullfil its promise?