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New tests can identify atypical Parkinson's cases more quickly
Parkinson's is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system. Physicians have long been looking for ways to identify this disease more quickly and treat it more effectively. Researchers have now found that a blood test can easily detect Parkinson's and the so-called atypical Parkinson's syndrome.
A team of scientists from Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Malmo found that a blood test can quickly and effectively detect a specific form of Parkinson's, even in the early stages of the disease. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Neurology".
What is Parkinson's?
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder. Affected people have slow movements and stiff and inflexible muscles. The sufferers also suffer from uncontrolled movement disorders and muscle tremors. For this reason, the disease is often referred to as a so-called shaking disease. The disease can lead to depression, anxiety, balance problems, loss of smell and memory problems.
How common is Parkinson's in Germany?
Parkinson's is a disease that particularly affects the elderly. In Germany alone there are about 300,000 people with Parkinson's. Many sufferers fall ill between the ages of 50 and 79. Overall, more men are affected by the disease than women.
Experts are developing faster methods of diagnosing Parkinson's
So far, the disease has been determined by a so-called spinal fluid test. But physicians have now developed a faster and easier method of detection. With a simple blood test it is possible to determine the disease. A certain protein (Nfl) in the blood is a reliable marker for Parkinson's disease, the experts explain.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson's
It is important to quickly diagnose the disease, although there is currently no cure for the disease. Rapid early detection can help delay the symptoms of the disease for as long as possible. It is generally believed that Parkinson's begins long before the first symptoms appear, the experts add.
A simple blood test at the doctor can bring clarity
Our findings are exciting, because if Parkinson's or a so-called atypical Parkinson's syndrome is suspected, a simple blood test from a doctor can provide more precise information in the future, explains the author Dr. Hansson.
A quick test leads to better basic care
The study provided evidence that the so-called Nfl values in the blood differ between Parkinson's disease and atypical Parkinson's syndromes with a high degree of diagnostic accuracy, the researchers explain. The experts added that this easily accessible biomarker of axonal degeneration could improve the diagnostic work-up of patients with Parkinson's symptoms in specialized clinics and in primary care.
Atypical Parkinson's syndrome more often leads to death
Atypical Parkinson's syndrome is very rare, but it is progressing much faster. This form of the disease is more likely to cause the death of those affected than normal Parkinson's disease, the scientists explain. That is why early detection and the best possible treatment are particularly important for patients and their families. (as)