Introduction: Previous studies reported increased plasma levels of cystatin C (Cys-C) in Parkinson's disease (PD) and claimed for a possible association with disease severity and progression. The aim of this study was to evaluate plasma Cys-C in PD and healthy controls (HC) and test its association with markers of peripheral inflammation, neurodegeneration, and clinical progression in a longitudinal study. Methods: Plasma Cys-C, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and neurofilament light chain (NfL) were assessed at the baseline in 71 consecutive non-demented PD and 69 HC. PD patients underwent an extensive motor and cognitive assessment at baseline and after 2 years of follow-up. The association of Cys-C with disease severity was evaluated in a multilinear model adjusted for the effect of age, sex, disease duration, and peripheral inflammation. Results: Cys-C levels appeared to be higher in PD compared to controls and correlated with the plasma neuronal marker NfL (r = 0.204, p = 0.046). In longitudinal analyses, PD patients with higher Cys-C levels exhibited faster motor progression at 2 years of follow-up independently from the peripheral inflammatory profile. Conclusions: Cys-C was associated with higher NfL levels and a remarkably faster motor progression in PD independently from peripheral inflammation. Further studies are needed in order to understand the mechanisms underpinning the association of Cys-C with higher neuronal damage markers in neurodegenerative diseases.
- Neurofilament light chain
- Parkinson's disease