Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Blood Test Can Diagnose And Monitor Treatment Of Parkinson's Disease

Date:
April 27, 2007
Source:
Howard Florey Institute
Summary:
A simple test to diagnose Parkinson's disease before symptoms appear by measuring the levels of a protein in blood is being developed by Australian researchers.

A simple test to diagnose Parkinson's disease (PD) before symptoms appear by measuring the levels of a protein in blood is being developed by researchers from the Howard Florey Institute, The University of Melbourne and The Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria.

While Florey researchers have also created a genetic test for PD (10% of PD cases are caused by genetic factors), this new test has a broader application by screening for many different types of PD and monitoring treatment, as well as measuring the effectiveness of drugs being developed to treat the disease.

Dr Qiao-Xin Li and colleagues from The University of Melbourne and The Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, along with Prof Malcolm Horne from the Howard Florey Institute, found people with PD had low levels of the brain-secreted protein 'alpha-synuclein' in their blood, while people without PD had high levels of the protein.

Prof Horne said the test they developed measured alpha-synuclein levels in blood. "Currently there is no specific PD diagnostic test so doctors rely on their observations to make a diagnosis, which means some patients may not be prescribed the most suitable medication and around 15% of those diagnosed may actually be suffering from something else," Prof Horne said.

"Further studies are required to establish whether this test can distinguish between people who are responsive to treatment and those who are not," he said. The researchers are now conducting a large-scale study to determine the effectiveness of the test, to discover whether it is applicable for all types of PD, and to find out if it can measure the rate of progression and severity of the disease. "If the results of our large-scale study are encouraging, this test could be available for clinical use within the next two years," Prof Horne said.

"We are now refining the test to make it quicker and cheaper so it can be offered to all those who have or are at risk of developing PD. "While the clinical outcomes for this test will be significant, it also opens up new avenues of PD research and drug development.

"Further research using this test will also help us better understand the many different forms of PD and work towards ways to prevent or delay the disease. "The test will also ensure drug trial participants actually have PD so research outcomes will be statistically more valid, which paves the way for faster and more effective drug development.

"When drugs that modify disease progression are available, this test may also help in showing whether candidate drugs are having an effect on the disease by keeping alpha-synuclein levels close to normal," Prof Horne said.

This research was recently published in Experimental Neurology and was a collaborative project involving Qiao-Xin Li, Su San Mok, Katrina Laughton, Catriona McLean, Roberto Cappai, Colin Masters, Janetta Culvenor and Malcolm Horne.

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting 1% of the Australian population over the age of 65. Parkinson's is second only to dementia as the most common chronic neurological condition. 80,000 Australians have Parkinson's and 4,000 are diagnosed each year. 20,000 Victorians have Parkinson's, and over 1,000 are diagnosed each year, or nineteen each week. The direct and indirect costs of Parkinson's to the state of Victoria are over one billion dollars per year. This will significantly increase in the next thirty years with the ageing of the population. There is a misconception that this is an "old person's" disease. 20% of people with the disease are under 50 when diagnosed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Howard Florey Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Howard Florey Institute. "New Blood Test Can Diagnose And Monitor Treatment Of Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426093416.htm>.
Howard Florey Institute. (2007, April 27). New Blood Test Can Diagnose And Monitor Treatment Of Parkinson's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426093416.htm
Howard Florey Institute. "New Blood Test Can Diagnose And Monitor Treatment Of Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426093416.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins