September 01, 2023

New Blood Tests Could Revolutionise Parkinson’s Diagnosis

Researchers have garnered promising results in a preliminary study that reveals Parkinson’s disease could possibly be detected in blood tests.

American scientists at the Duke School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, were eager to share their findings with an international publication on Wednesday, 30 August, announcing that it was a “major advancement for [diagnosing] Parkinson’s disease”.

While the study hasn’t reached the human trials stage yet, neuroscientists were able to use the blood from rodents to isolate damage to their Mitochondrial DNA – a telltale sign of Parkinson’s – that encodes most of an organism’s genome.

Study leader, Laurie Sanders, is excited about the future applications of the study, telling the news outlet: “A clear-cut diagnosis would accurately identify patients who could participate in drug studies, leading to the development of better treatments and potentially even cures.”

The next step in the process will be for the researchers to take samples from high-risk individuals who are yet to display symptoms to see if they can replicate their initial results.

The neurodegenerative condition afflicts 10 million people worldwide, making it the second most common disease of its kind, after Alzheimer’s. If future trials of the tests are successful, doctors could diagnose the life-changing ailment before patients start showing symptoms and damage to the nervous system occurs.

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