Early Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis with a Simple Blood Test

credit: National Cancer Institute Daniel Sone (Photographer) PD

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers for the United Kingdom have developed a simple blood test for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The new breakthrough was reported in the December issue of the FASEB Journal. The blood test is called “phosphorylated alpha-synuclein,” which is a common substance found in the blood of people with Parkinson’s disease.

The UK researchers took blood samples from Parkinson’s patients and from a second group of healthy people. They measured each group for levels of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in the blood. They found that the Parkinson’s disease patients had increased levels compared to the healthy people. Because of this discovery, the researchers developed a blood test that could measure for the elevated phosphorylated alpha-synuclein levels.

Previously, doctors had difficulty diagnosing early Parkinson’s disease because the symptoms are not as easy to discern from other conditions. It was not until the disease progressed with more outward symptoms such as trembling and shaking that a diagnosis was made with certainty. With the new blood test it may make diagnosing the disease easier, and may help to diagnosis a different condition. The new understanding of the increased phosphoraylated alpha-synuclein in the blood, may also help further research to develop new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

David Allsop, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences and the School of Health and Medicine at the University of Lancaster, in Lancaster, UK said that the early treatment for Parkinson’s disease could be achieved with new medicines developed to protect the brain from damage. He adds that in return, the early treatments could help improve the quality of life as the Parkinson’s patient ages.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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