Potential Metabolomic Linkage in Blood between Parkinson's Disease and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Fiandaca MS., Gross TJ., Johnson TM., Hu MT., Evetts S., Wade-Martins R., Merchant-Borna K., Bazarian J., Cheema AK., Mapstone M., Federoff HJ.
The etiologic basis for sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases has been elusive but likely represents the product of genetic predisposition and various environmental factors. Specific gene-environment interactions have become more salient owing, in part, to the elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms and their impact on health and disease. The linkage between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Parkinson's disease (PD) is one such association that currently lacks a mechanistic basis. Herein, we present preliminary blood-based metabolomic evidence in support of potential association between TBI and PD. Using untargeted and targeted high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry we identified metabolomic biomarker profiles in a cohort of symptomatic mild TBI (mTBI) subjects (n = 75) 3⁻12 months following injury (subacute) and TBI controls (n = 20), and a PD cohort with known PD (n = 20) or PD dementia (PDD) (n = 20) and PD controls (n = 20). Surprisingly, blood glutamic acid levels in both the subacute mTBI (increased) and PD/PDD (decreased) groups were notably altered from control levels. The observed changes in blood glutamic acid levels in mTBI and PD/PDD are discussed in relation to other metabolite profiling studies. Should our preliminary results be replicated in comparable metabolomic investigations of TBI and PD cohorts, they may contribute to an "excitotoxic" linkage between TBI and PD/PDD.