Marisa Cressatti

PhD student in Neuroscience
McGill University

Award-winning publicationSalivary microR-153 and microR-223 Levels as Potential Diagnostic Biomarkers of Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease

Published in: Movement Disorders


In this study, Marisa Cressatti identifies two new micro-RNAs as promising biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. A definite diagnosis of early-stage Parkinson’s disease occurs in only 26% of cases. The researcher tested the saliva of 83 Parkinson’s patients and 77 healthy individuals. Saliva has a number of advantages over other biofluids and imaging techniques since taking the sample is non-invasive and inexpensive and requires only minimal staff training. It was found that salivary microR-153 and microR-223 levels were significantly lower in patients diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s disease than in the individuals in the healthy group. These levels were adjusted based on age, sex, drug exposure, duration of the illness and other relevant comorbidities. The estimated accuracy of the test to predict the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease is 79% for microR-153 and 77% for microR-223. These promising results will support upcoming large-scale clinical tests in response to a key clinical imperative.