Researchers have proposed that a blood test that can identify Parkinson’s disease could be a step toward developing a treatment for the illness.
It is believed that the results of a US study, which were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, may help develop therapies that stop the disease’s progression before it damages a patient’s nervous system or even work to repair cellular damage.
According to Laurie Sanders, an associate professor in the neurology and pathology departments at Duke School of Medicine: “At the moment, Parkinson’s disease is primarily diagnosed based on clinical symptoms after severe neurological damage has already taken place.
“A straightforward blood test would enable us to diagnose the condition early and initiate treatments more quickly.A precise diagnosis would also enable the identification of individuals who could take part in pharmacological studies, resulting in the creation of better therapies and perhaps even cures.
The blood test was created by a team led by Prof. Sanders that included neuroscientists from Duke Health. They did this by looking at DNA damage in the mitochondria, which are tiny, energy-producing organelles found in each cell.
The nuclear DNA that makes up the majority of a human genome can be damaged, but mitochondria also have their own DNA that can be harmed.
The group created an experiment that revealed higher amounts of mitochondrial DNA damage in blood cells taken from Parkinson’s disease patients than from individuals without the disorder.
We are still only treating the symptoms of this condition, which has a tremendous toll on people. It’s crucial to develop novel, efficient treatments and bring them to fruition.
In blood samples from people who had the genetic mutation LRRK2, which has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s, the test also found significant quantities of damaged DNA.
To assess whether this test could predict the efficacy of a treatment that specifically targets the LRRK2 mutation, the scientists performed additional cell analysis.
Prof. Sanders continued, “Our hope is that this test will not only be able to diagnose Parkinson’s disease but also help us find medications that can repair or stop the damage to mitochondrial DNA and the progression of the disease.
“We are still only treating the symptoms of this condition, which has a horrible toll on people. It’s crucial to finish developing new, efficient remedies.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn