Scientists claim to have developed an important new tool in the fight against Parkinson's disease.
In an article in the Human Molecular Genetics journal, researchers from the University of California state that they have created the first transgenic mouse to display the earliest symptoms of the condition.
The mouse model features the same mutated genes found in people living with Parkinson's disease, as well as displaying gastrointestinal problems often associated with the disease.
Scientists have long thought that the neurological symptoms of Parkinson's disease are a later part of a much longer systemic process.
Senior author and geneticist Robert Nussbaum MD said: "This new model validates that theory by mimicking what we know to be the genetic pathway leading to Parkinson's.
"While also displaying the earliest symptoms that occur in humans, it will give us an important tool in identifying an early intervention for this devastating disease."
One in 500 people in the UK are currently living with Parkinson's disease, equating to around 120,000 adults, according to Parkinson's UK.
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