Blood test could detect, treat Parkinson’s disease earlier

There’s been a breakthrough in testing for Parkinson’s disease.

Australian researchers have developed a blood test to detect Parkinson’s disease, which will allow for earlier intervention and treatment of the condition.

Lead research on the study from La Trobe University, Professor Paul Fisher told The Guardian the discovery turned conventional understanding about Parkinson’s on its head.

He says the team believes their blood test will enable doctors to detect Parkinson’s disease with “unprecedented reliability” and lead to earlier treatment.

To date there have been no specifics test to diagnose the debilitating degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system, the symptoms of which include tremors in the hands, arms, legs, face and jaw; slow movement; problems with balance; and emotional changes.

“What we’re really hoping for is something that can diagnose Parkinson’s at the earliest possible stage and in fact even before there are physical symptoms occurring,” he said.

Fisher told the ABC’s AM program that there are also hopes other diseases that are less closely related, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, might also be detected by this method.

“But until we can do those tests, we don’t know,” Fisher said.

Their findings are under review by an international medical journal.

Are you or someone you know affected by Parkinson’s disease? What do you think about this news?

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