Gender differences in Parkinson's disease: Focus on plasma alpha-synuclein

Giovanni Caranci, Paola Piscopo, Roberto Rivabene, Anna Traficante, Barbara Riozzi, Anna Elisa Castellano, Stefano Ruggieri, Nicola Vanacore, Annamaria Confaloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among promising biological markers proposed for Parkinson's disease (PD) and other disorders related to Lewy bodies, plasma alpha-synuclein assay has provided conflicting results mainly owing to the various laboratory assay techniques used and protein forms assayed. In this observational and exploratory cross-sectional study, using an immunoenzymatic technique, we assayed and compared total plasma alpha-synuclein concentrations in 69 patients with PD and 110 age-matched healthy control subjects. Two previously unreported findings concerned gender. First, plasma alpha-synuclein concentrations measured in the more advanced parkinsonian disease stages decreased in men, but not in women. Second, again only in men, plasma alpha-synuclein concentration was associated with cognitive impairments, hallucinations, and sleep disorders. These findings underline the gender-related differences in parkinsonian patients and indicate plasma alpha-synuclein expression as a potential biological marker for PD progression in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1215
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Alpha-synuclein
  • Biomarker
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in Parkinson's disease: Focus on plasma alpha-synuclein'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this