Imaging and fluid biomarkers in uncertain cases of parkinsonism

Thursday 8 June 2023, 12:30 pm
PhD student
A. van Rumund drs.
prof. dr. B.R. Bloem, prof. dr. ir. M.M. Verbeek
dr. R.A.J. Esselink

Diagnosing Parkinson's disease is not straightforward. Especially in early stages, it can be difficult to distinguish Parkinson's from a group of other conditions that look identical at first glance (parkinsonisms). An unclear diagnosis leads to a lot of uncertainty for patients, makes treatment less targeted, and impedes scientific research. This dissertation examines imaging techniques and laboratory tests that can shorten the search for a definitive diagnosis. This dissertation shows that the following tests can be useful for distinguishing between Parkinson's and parkinsonisms: (1) a special iron-sensitive MRI technique in the brain, (2) an ultra-sensitive blood test for the biomarker "neurofilament light chain," and (3) a laboratory test that can detect misfolded protein cables of the alpha-synuclein protein in cerebrospinal fluid. These research results can help provide more clarity for patients with parkinsonism without a confirmed diagnosis at an early stage.

Anouke van Rumund (1984) obtained her Master’s degree in Medicine at the Radboud University (2011). In 2020 she finished her residency in Neurology at the Radboud university medical center. She did her PhD research parallel to her residency. Currently, she works as a neurologist at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.