Rapid Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease from Sebum using Paper Spray Ionisation Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder for which identification of robust biomarkers to complement clinical PD diagnosis would accelerate treatment options and help to stratify disease progression. Here we demonstrate the use of paper spray ionisation coupled with ion mobility mass spectrometry (PSI IM-MS) to determine diagnostic molecular features of PD in sebum. PSI IM-MS was performed directly from skin swabs, collected from 34 people with PD and 30 matched control subjects as a training set and a further 91 samples from 5 different collection sites as a validation set. PSI IM-MS elucidates ~ 4200 features from each individual and we report two classes of lipids (namely phosphatidylcholine and cardiolipin) that differ significantly in the sebum of people with PD. Putative metabolite annotations are obtained using tandem mass spectrometry experiments combined with accurate mass measurements. Sample preparation and PSI IM-MS analysis and diagnosis can be performed ~5 minutes per sample offering a new route to for rapid and inexpensive confirmatory diagnosis of this disease.