New Test Detects Parkinson's Disease Way Earlier than the One Currently Used
Parkinson’s disease is a medical condition that has gained a huge amount of “popularity” in the past few years, mainly because of the celebrities that suffer from it. The most famous of recent cases is the one of Michael J.Fox, an actor who has become an activist and also founded the Michael J.Fox Foundation in an effort to find a cure for the disease. Muhammad Ali and Olympic medalist Davis Phinney are just two others belonging to the great number of patients from all over the world.
The effects of the aforementioned condition that are both physical and psychological are devastating to the patient. It affects the central nervous system which, in turn, attacks the motor system causing the well known constant and uncontrollable “shaking” of the entire body. Its consequences are so severe that, as Michael J.Fox admitted, it is even very difficult to sleep normally. In a recent interview he stated that doctors have prescribed him some very powerful drugs in order to allow him to sleep, but even with them, once he wakes up there is no way he can sleep again.
Even though a cure that wipes out the symptoms completely has not been yet found, a recent breakthrough may change the way we fight the disease since it offers us a time advantage.
A team of researchers from the La Trobe University in Australia has invented a new test that can detect signs of Parkinson’s disease way earlier than medical examiners can today. In fact, it has been tested and, so far, it has achieved an accuracy of 95% among the patients it has been tested on. As all of the trials and studies show, it will not be long until the test is available for public use. According to the experts, it could take as little as five years.
Not only this test gives medical doctors a great advantage to hinder the eventual progress of the disease in a relatively early stage, but it could also be used to detect various other similar disorders that damage the central nervous system.
The contribution of the Michael J.Fox Foundation should be highlighted since it has already offered more than half a million dollars to the University that developed the test.
Parkinson’s disease is estimated to affect about 6.5 million people on a global scale. We literally need all the help we can get to be able to unlock its secret and potential weakness in order to be able to defeat it once and for all.