In a major advancement announced this month, an Australian scientific team has developed the first blood test confirming whether a patient has Parkinson’s — a development that can speed treatments that can help slow the condition.
A research team, led by Dr Paul Fisher, a microbiology professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, has developed the diagnostic blood test enabling accurate detection of abnormal Parkinson’s-causing blood cells. The team is being funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The researchers noted that at present, by the time many patients develop symptoms large numbers of brain cells have already been destroyed by Parkinson’s. In the absence of a cure, the new test will allow patients to be treated much sooner — before more brain damage occurs.
“It’s even possible that the blood test could be developed to detect all types of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s.”