George Kannarkat, MD, PhD

2024 Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Lewy Body Diseases


Title/Institution: Movement Disorders Instructor, University of Pennsylvania

Project Title: “The Functional Relevance of Plasma Alpha-Synuclein Strains in Lewy Body Diseases”

Project Summary: Lewy Body diseases (LBD) includes dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Research suggests that in LBD, misfolded proteins called α-synuclein (aSyn) spread from other areas of the body to the brain, causing further neurodegeneration. Specific forms of aSyn found in the blood, identified by unique antibodies, may originate from certain areas of the body. 

Dr. Kannarkat’s research aims to pinpoint where aSyn originates in the body and determine if these forms of aSyn are harmful. Currently, there are limited treatments for LBD, and this research may lead to new therapies for this disease.