Blood test may diagnose Parkinson's

Blood test may diagnose Parkinson's

A blood test may be able to diagnose Parkinson's disease long before symptoms appear, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Lancaster discovered that phosphorylated alpha-synuclein, a substance found in the blood of Parkinson's patients, could lead to a new diagnostic tool.

"A blood test for Parkinson's disease would mean you could find out if a person was in danger of getting the disease, before the symptoms started," stated Dr David Allsop, a researcher on the study.

This will allow treatments to be developed that protect the brain from Parkinson's, which could improve the "quality of life and future health of older people", according to Dr Allsop.

While studies have indicated that phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein at amino acid 129 is a key event in alpha-synuclein–mediated nerve cell toxicity in Parkinson's patients, researchers have identified a counterbalancing role in nerve cell protection for phosphorylation of alpha-synuclein amino acid 125.

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