Wednesday July 18, 2018

Testing Tears May Help In Early Diagnosis Of Parkinson’s Disease

The differences in protein can accurately predict the neurological disorder, the findings showed

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The reason that Parkinson’s disease develops is not known. Wikimedia commons
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Testing tears may be a cheap, non-invasive as well as reliable technique for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, say scientists.

It is because tears contain various proteins produced by the secretory cells of the tear gland, which is stimulated by nerves to secrete these proteins into tears.

The differences in protein can accurately predict the neurological disorder, the findings showed.

ALSO READ: Progression of Parkinson disease could be slowed with exercise

“We believe our research is the first to show that tears may be a reliable, inexpensive and non-invasive biological marker of Parkinson’s disease,” said Mark Lew, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

As Parkinson’s can affect nerve function outside of the brain, the research team hypothesized that any change in nerve function may be seen in the protein levels in tears and thus help differentiate between people with and with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson's disease
Out of 10 million people worldwide, 7 million people from India suffer Parkinson’s disease. Pixabay

“Because the Parkinson’s disease process can begin years or decades before symptoms appear, a biological marker like this could be useful in diagnosing, or even treating, the disease earlier,” Lew noted.

For the preliminary study, to be presented at the 2018 AAN Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in April, tear samples from a small group with Parkinson’s were compared to tear samples with those who did not have the disease.

ALSO READ: 60 Percent people mistake Parkinson’s Symptoms for Old age due to lack of Awareness: Neurologists

The results showed that total levels of protein alpha-synuclein were decreased in people with Parkinson’s, while the levels of protein oligomeric alpha-synuclein were increased in people with Parkinson’s, compared to people without Parkinson’s.

It is possible that the tear gland secretory cells themselves produce these different forms of alpha-synuclein that can be directly secreted into tears.

However, more research now needs to be done in larger groups of people to investigate whether these protein changes can be detected in tears in the earliest stages of the disease before symptoms start. (IANS)

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This New App Can Score Parkinson’s Severity

The app is available both for Android as well as iOS smartphones

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The reason that Parkinson’s disease develops is not known. Wikimedia commons

Computer scientists, including one of Indian-origin, has developed a new smartphone-based app that uses sensors to generate a score that reliably reflects symptom severity in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s is a progressive brain disorder and is often tough to treat effectively because symptoms, such as tremors and walking difficulties, can vary dramatically over a period of days, or even hours.

The new app called “HopkinsPD”, developed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University, helped Parkinson’s patients to objectively monitor symptoms in the home and then share data to doctors.

Parkinson’s disease is named after Dr James Parkinson (1755-1824), the doctor that first identified the condition. Wikimedia commons
Parkinson’s disease is named after Dr James Parkinson (1755-1824), the doctor that first identified the condition. Wikimedia Commons

“A smartphone-derived severity score for Parkinson’s disease is feasible and provides an objective measure of motor symptoms inside and outside the clinic that could be valuable for clinical care and therapeutic development,” said the research team including Srihari Mohan, undergraduate student at the varsity.

Typically, patients with Parkinson’s disease are evaluated by medical specialists during three or four clinic visits annually, and patients are asked to fill out a cumbersome 24-hour “motor diary” at home to record their mobility, involuntary twisting movements, etc. The doctor then uses this self-reported or imprecise data to guide treatment.

In the new study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, the team collected the data with the help of “HopkinsPD” app and then using a machine learning technique, they converted it into an objective Parkinson’s disease severity score — that better reflected the overall severity of patients’ symptoms and how well they were responding to medication.

Gionee
The app will be available on all platforms.

This smartphone evaluation does not rely on the subjective observations of a medical staff, and can be administered any time or day in a clinic or within the patient’s home.

The app is available both for Android as well as iOS smartphones. IANS

2 responses to “This New App Can Score Parkinson’s Severity”

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