New Way to Diagnose and Confirm Parkinson’s Disease, Even Before Symptoms Develop

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In Texas, scientists from the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have found a way to diagnose Parkinson’s disease before a patient even develops symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease is often diagnosed after doctors have ruled out all other possible diseases, as current lab and blood tests can’t confirm Parkinson’s. But now that scientists found specific misfolded proteins associated with the disease in cerebrospinal fluid, a biochemical test can be developed to accurately diagnose Parkinson’s disease.

The huge potential is if doctors can test patients before they develop disease symptoms, so they can be entered into clinical trials for new treatments to eliminate or postpone the disease from progressing. Unfortunately, scientists will have to find an easier way to get cerebrospinal fluid, as the only way to get it currently is through painful spinal taps, which not many patients will want to go through.