Questioning patients on their ability to ride a bike could be a far more effective Parkinson's disease test than more expensive examinations, according to scientists.
Researchers from the Netherlands used brain imaging and other tests on patients with Parkinson's disease and also on those with atypical Parkinsonism.
When asked whether they were still able to ride a bicycle, only four per cent of those with standard Parkinson's said they were no longer able to while 52 per cent of participants with atypical Parkinsonism said they could not.
Researchers wrote a letter published in the Lancet that said that the question of whether a patient could ride a bike or not could prove a "red flag" for clinicians.
"This skilled task is probably sensitive to subtle problems with balance or coordination, caused by the more extensive extranigral pathology in atypical parkinsonism," said the letter.
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center have found that a drug used in the treatment of leukaemia could be used to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.