Charysse Vandendriessche
Dr. Charysse Vandendriessche Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology Ghent University

Project description

What are the implications of your research proposal in the microbiome field for human health?

Consistent and early changes in microbiota composition have been reported in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. These changes in microbiota composition are hypothesized to be reflected in extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by these bacteria (i.e. bacterial EVs (bEVs)), making bEVs extremely interesting from a biomarker perspective. Currently, the diagnosis of PD is based on meticulous neurological examination by experienced clinicians. However, these clinical symptoms only arise after considerable and irreversible neuronal damage has already occurred4. This underlines the pressing need of finding biomarkers that can be isolated from easily accessible biofluids collected via non-invasive procedures. These biomarkers would have an impact on several levels:

  1. aiding (differential) disease diagnosis,
  2. monitoring disease,
  3. follow- up treatment response 
  4. optimization of clinical trial design.

Hereby, the first three points will greatly benefit disease management whereas the latter point will aid the development of novel treatment strategies.

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