Neuroinflammation is thought to have a role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other disorders, yet previous clinical biomarker studies show conflicting results. For a study, researchers sought to look at a panel of neuroinflammatory acute phase response (APR) proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological illnesses.

Eleven APR proteins were detected in the CSF of 867 BioFINDER participants. They were either healthy (612) or had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (155), multiple system atrophy (MSA) (26), progressive supranuclear palsy (22), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (23), or Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD) (29).

Only haptoglobin and 1-antitrypsin were considerably higher in Parkinson’s disease than in controls. In the other illnesses, these proteins were elevated to varying degrees. Ferritin and transthyretin were preferentially higher in MSA patients, distinguishing them from the others. When utilized in conjunction with ferritin and transthyretin, haptoglobin was found to be raised exclusively in PSP, distinguishing it from MSA. Although the panel of proteins did not correlate well with the level of motor impairment in any illness group, several (especially ceruloplasmin and ferritin) were linked to memory performance (Mini-Mental State Examination) in DLB and PDD patients. The findings shed light on inflammatory alterations in Parkinson’s disease and associated illnesses and biomarkers with clinical diagnostic value.