Blood Test Might Help Diagnose Parkinson's Disease Much Earlier
Parkinson's cannot be diagnosed using any kind of blood test or brain scan as of right now. However, a new blood test shows promise and this can change if it continues to. DNA damage in the mitochondria of cells is more prevalent in those with Parkinson's, and this new blood test measures exactly that. This test also found high levels of damaged DNA in those who contain the genetic mutation LRRK2, which also leads to an increased risk of Parkinson's. Study author Laurie Sanders states, “We were able to see this marker in people who carry a genetic mutation but don’t have Parkinson’s disease yet... This is something that may be happening very early in the disease process, and we may be able to screen people who are at high risk and intervene earlier. A simple and cheap blood test could let people know if they should seek further care.”. Sanders and her team also tested therapy that targets the LRRK2 gene. The cells that received it had lower levels of mitochondrial DNA damage.
I think that this discovery is amazing as there is no test out there that can pre-diagnose Parkinson's. The only way to be diagnosed is by checking off a series of physical symptoms. This is a great advancement because something so simple as a blood test can tell us whether a person will develop such a previously complicated disease. I think this will be a great help as people can then start preventative treatment earlier to maybe fight this disease before it starts to show. Their approach is also interesting because they might be able to determine if certain forms of therapy will help a person or not.