Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative(PPMI)

The Penn Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center announced that it is one of 18 official study sites for the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a landmark observational clinical study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which will use a combination of advanced imaging, biologics sampling and behavioral assessments to identify biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease progression. Enrollment of 20 patients and 10 controls at the Penn Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center is expected to begin in October 2010 and will continue for approximately two years.

Biomarkers: Critical for Parkinson’s Drug Development

John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, director of the Penn Udall Center for Parkinson's Research and Leslie M. Shaw, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will lead the PPMI Bioanalytics Core. They will be responsible for analyzing samples collected from all trial participants, using a test they designed, standardized and validated to measure levels of specific biomarkers in spinal fluid. Drs. Trojanowski and Shaw, who also serve as co-leaders of the Biomarker Core for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), will provide additional experience to consult with the PPMI Biorepository Core, to ensure the samples are collected and stored in a standardized way. In addition, they will be part of a collaborative group evaluating any novel diagnostic biomarkers that emerge in the course of the trial, to see if they can and should be integrated into the PPMI study.

A biomarker could be any objectively measurable physical characteristic associated with the presence of disease (diagnostic or risk marker) or any characteristic that changes over time in a way that can be tied to the progression of disease (progression marker).

Connect with the PPMI website

Click here to connect with the PPMI website.

For more information on those Penn faculty who are members of the PPMI Steering Committee, click here.

To read the Penn Medicine press release on this collaboration, click here.