Biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease: 20 years later

  • Rezzak Yilmaz
  • Franziska Hopfner
  • Thilo van Eimeren
  • Daniela BergEmail author
Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Review Article


Despite intensive effort, biomarker research for the detection of prodromal stage, diagnosis and progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) falls short of expectations. This article reviews the attempts in the last 20 years to find a biomarker, addresses challenges along the biomarker search and suggests the steps that should be taken to overcome these challenges. Although several biomarkers are currently available, none of them is specific enough for diagnosis, prediction of future PD or disease progression. The main reason for the failure finding a strong biomarker seems to be drastic heterogeneity of PD, which exhibits itself in all domains; from the clinic to pathophysiology or genetics. The diversity in patient selection, assessment methods or outcomes in biomarker studies also limit the interpretation and generalizability of the data. In search of a reliable biomarker, consideration of novel approaches encompassing individual demographic, clinical, genetic, epigenetic and environmental differences, employment of strategies enabling marker combinations, designing multicenter studies with compatible assessment methods, integration of data from preclinical domains and utilization of novel technology-based assessments are necessary.


Parkinson’s disease Biomarker Prodromal Parkinson’s disease 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rezzak Yilmaz
    • 1
  • Franziska Hopfner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thilo van Eimeren
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Daniela Berg
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyChristian-Albrechts-University of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyKlinikum der Universität München, University Hospital, LMU MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  5. 5.German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)Bonn-CologneGermany
  6. 6.Department of Neurodegeneration, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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