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Blood tests can spot Parkinson's disease before symptoms

Thursday 1st December 2011
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Scientists in the UK have developed a simple blood test that can diagnose Parkinson's disease before symptoms are visible.

New research published in the FASEB Journal revealed that they found a substance in the blood known as "phosphorylated alpha-synuclein" which is common in sufferers of Parkinson's disease.

During the study the team at the University of Lancaster tested a cross section of people to see if the substance was present in their blood. Subjects with the disease were found to have a higher lever of phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in their system.

Based on these results the scientists developed a simple blood test that could identify the substance before brain damage has already started to occur.

David Allsop, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences and the School of Health and Medicine at the university, said: "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."

According to Parkinson's UK, a charity for the disease, a person in the UK is told they have Parkinson's every hour.

written by Megan Smith ADNFCR-1780-ID-801227496-ADNFCR

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