Blood Test for 8 Proteins Could Predict Parkinson’s Seven Years Before Symptoms

A team of researchers, led by scientists at UCL and University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany, has developed a simple blood test for eight blood-based biomarkers that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict Parkinson’s up to seven years before the onset of symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is the world’s fastest growing neurodegenerative disorder and currently affects nearly 10 million people across the globe. The condition is a progressive disorder that is caused by the death of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which controls movement. These nerve cells die or become impaired, losing the ability to produce an important chemical called dopamine, due to the build-up of a protein alpha-synuclein. Currently, people with Parkinson’s are treated with dopamine replacement therapy after they have already developed symptoms, such as tremor, slowness of movement and gait, and memory problems. But researchers believe that early prediction and diagnosis would be valuable for finding treatments that could slow or stop Parkinson’s by protecting the dopamine-producing brain cells.

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