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Comparison of Different Platform Immunoassays for the Measurement of Plasma Alpha-Synuclein in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Journal of Parkinson’s Disease | June 14, 2021

Youssef P, Kim WS, Halliday GM, Lewis SJG and Dzamko N

Journal of Parkinson’s disease. 2021

DOI: 10.3233/JPD-212694



The identification of reliable biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease (PD) would provide much needed diagnostic accuracy, a means of monitoring progression, objectively measuring treatment response, and potentially allowing patient stratification within clinical trials. Whilst the assessment of total alpha-synuclein in biofluids has been identified as a promising biomarker, conflicting trends in these levels across patient plasma samples relative to controls has limited its use. Different commercially available assay platforms that have been used to measure alpha-synuclein may contribute to different study outcomes.


To compare different platform immunoassays for the measurement of total alpha-synuclein using the same plasma samples from 49 PD patients and 47 controls.


Total plasma alpha-synuclein concentrations were assessed using the BioLegend, MesoScale Discovery, and Quanterix platform in plasma samples from PD patients and matched controls.


A significant increase in total plasma alpha-synuclein was observed in PD patients using the Biolegend (10%), Mesoscale Discovery (13%) and Quanterix (39%) assays. The Mesoscale Discovery and Quanterix assays showed the strongest correlations (r = 0.78, p < 0.0001) with each other, whilst the Quanterix platform demonstrated the lowest variation and highest effect size. Inclusion of age, sex and hemoglobin levels as covariates in the analysis of total alpha-synuclein improved the ability of all three immunoassays to detect a significant difference between patients and controls.


All three immunoassays were sensitive enough to detect group level differences between PD patients and controls, with the largest effect size observed with the Quanterix assay. These results may help inform assay choices in ongoing clinical trials.

This study was performed using the Quanterix HD-1 Analyzer.

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