Parkinson's disease: Leading expert on new test that could lead to early diagnosis

Parkinson's disease: Leading expert on new test that could lead to early diagnosis

A breakthrough has been made in the early detection of Parkinson's disease

Monday, August 29, 2016

A study from the University of Edinburgh has revealed how a test on sticky protein molecules could help in the early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

The molecule alpha-synuclein is usually found in brain cells of those who suffer from the disease, as well as some dementia sufferers. A total of 38 patients were tested for the sticky protein in their spinal fluid, and the results proved to be very accurate.

Doctor Alison Green from the university joined Paul Ross on Monday morning to reveal more about the breakthrough and how the tests could be improved and implemented.

"We are going to extend this study with our collaborators in Oxford," she explained. "Over the next 12 to 18 months we will increase the number of samples we look at and then we will understand how early this test becomes positive.

"We can detect [the protein] in spinal fluid of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The small study we've undertaken shows we can detect it in the early stages of the disease.

"[Usually] people have this protein in their brain but it doesn't actually become sticky."

Listen to the full interview to find out more.