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Simple Blood Test Diagnoses Parkinson’s Disease At Earliest Stages

Posted Dec 26 2011 10:11pm
Posted on 2011-12-26 06:00:00 in Diagnostics | Parkinsons Disease |

Scientists from the United Kingdom have developed a simple blood test to detect Parkinson's disease, at its earliest stages.  David Allsop, from the University of Lancaster, and colleagues studied a group of people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and a second group of healthy people of a similar age. Blood samples from each group were analyzed to determine the levels of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein present. They found those with Parkinson's disease had increased levels of the substance. Based upon these findings, researchers developed a blood test that detects the presence of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein, which could allow for diagnosis of the disease well before symptoms appear but when brain damage has already begun to occur.  Writing that: “phosphorylated [alpha-synuclein] can be detected in blood plasma and shows more promise as a diagnostic marker,” the study authors urge for:  “Longitudinal studies … to determine whether [alpha-synuclein] can act as a marker of disease progression.”

Penelope G. Foulds, J. Douglas Mitchell, Angela Parker, Roisin Turner, Gerwyn Green, David Allsop, et al.  “Phosphorylated alpha-synuclein can be detected in blood plasma and is potentially a useful biomarker for Parkinson's disease.” FASEB J., December 2011, 25:4127-4137.

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