Washington: Scientists have found a link between epigenetic changes (those molecular modifications that alter the behaviour of genes without changing the DNA sequence) and Parkinson's disease.
Those epigenetic changes appear to be great candidates as early stage biomarkers for Parkinson disease.
Researchers from University of California, San Diego have now shown that a distinctive pattern of epigenetic modifications (in this case called DNA methylation) is observed in specific genes associated with the disease. Even more interesting, these changes could be easily analyzed in blood samples from patients, which appear to replicate the "epigenetic status" of brain tissue cells, potentially simplifying early diagnosis of the disease.
The study has been published in the October issue of Epigenetics.