Parkinson's is a disease that often damages motor skills and speech. Scientists may soon come up with a simple blood test to diagnose the disease.
According to the scientists, this test will lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments for patients with the neurological disorder.
AdvertisementMost patients diagnosed with Parkinson's show symptoms such as tremors, slow movement and muscular stiffness.
And due to slow onset of the disease many patients in the early stages are misdiagnosed as having other conditions such as repeated strokes.
Dr Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society also said that the diagnosis can be difficult.
"The diagnosis of Parkinson's can be difficult, given it has a slow onset and can be mistaken for a number of other conditions, particularly in the early stages," the Telegraph quoted Breen, as saying.
"There is, therefore, a great need to look for something to measure in the body associated with Parkinson's to be able to develop a test for its diagnosis," he added.
Actor Michael J Fox, who funded the study and himself was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1991 at the age of 30, said that genetic alterations caused by the condition could be detected by chemical changes in the blood.
Dr Erik Christensen, the chief executive of DiaGenic, a Norwegian life sciences company that developed the test said that earlier diagnosis could help start earlier treatment.†
"Progression of Parkinson's disease has a serious impact on the quality of life of sufferers. The earlier an accurate diagnosis can be made, the earlier treatment can start and the better the prognosis for the patient," the paper quoted Christensen, as saying.
They discovered 500 genes that are affected by Parkinson's that prompted chemical changes that could also be recognized in blood samples.
"As blood samples have already been collected, the US researchers can immediately start work on analysing these samples. We look forward to the results," said Breen.
The blood test may be available from next year.