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Mov Disord. 2016 Jun;31(6):924-32. doi: 10.1002/mds.26613. Epub 2016 Apr 26.

The BioFIND study: Characteristics of a clinically typical Parkinson's disease biomarker cohort.

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Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.
Section of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorder Program, Department of Neurology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.
Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, Clinical Trials Coordination Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, New York, New York, USA.



Identifying PD-specific biomarkers in biofluids will greatly aid in diagnosis, monitoring progression, and therapeutic interventions. PD biomarkers have been limited by poor discriminatory power, partly driven by heterogeneity of the disease, variability of collection protocols, and focus on de novo, unmedicated patients. Thus, a platform for biomarker discovery and validation in well-characterized, clinically typical, moderate to advanced PD cohorts is critically needed.


BioFIND (Fox Investigation for New Discovery of Biomarkers in Parkinson's Disease) is a cross-sectional, multicenter biomarker study that established a repository of clinical data, blood, DNA, RNA, CSF, saliva, and urine samples from 118 moderate to advanced PD and 88 healthy control subjects. Inclusion criteria were designed to maximize diagnostic specificity by selecting participants with clinically typical PD symptoms, and clinical data and biospecimen collection utilized standardized procedures to minimize variability across sites.


We present the study methodology and data on the cohort's clinical characteristics. Motor scores and biospecimen samples including plasma are available for practically defined off and on states and thus enable testing the effects of PD medications on biomarkers. Other biospecimens are available from off state PD assessments and from controls.


Our cohort provides a valuable resource for biomarker discovery and validation in PD. Clinical data and biospecimens, available through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, can serve as a platform for discovering biomarkers in clinically typical PD and comparisons across PD's broad and heterogeneous spectrum. © 2016 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


DNA; RNA; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; plasma; saliva; urine

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