A nanoscale flow cytometry assay quantified extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing total and aggregated α-synuclein (α-syn) with high sensitivity and specificity in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The identification of α-syn–containing EVs demonstrated accuracy in distinguishing people with PD from healthy adults that reached clinical relevance.
Why this matters
PD is often misdiagnosed and there is an urgent need for simple and reliable biochemical markers to aid in diagnosis. Both α-syn (a presynaptic neuronal protein linked to PD pathogenesis) and EVs (membrane-bound signaling vesicles) have been suggested as molecular biomarkers for PD, however, no diagnostic assays exist that can quantify α-syn–containing EVs in CSF.