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Could a breath test detect Parkinson's?

Could a breath test detect Parkinson's?
11th February 2015

Experts believe a simple breath test could be used to help diagnose Parkinson's disease.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, backed by Parkinson's UK and the British Council, are working to develop such a test, which would work by detecting certain molecules in exhaled breath.

A study of 57 people has already shown that breath could be used to distinguish those with Parkinson's from healthy individuals. The researchers will now conduct a larger study on a group of 200 people.

Professor Roger Barker, who is leading the clinical side of the study at the University of Cambridge, said: "We're hoping it will not only improve diagnosis, but also that it will tell us more about how Parkinson's develops and whether there are different types of Parkinson's." 

Breath tests have already been used to diagnose cancer, and dogs have even been trained to sniff out the disease.

Researchers from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, will also work on the project as part of the British Council's Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme.