Australian researchers have developed a blood test to detect Parkinson’s disease, and so far human trials have had a 95% accuracy rate.
The test works by picking up on a key biological marker found in the blood, which will help doctors to provide treatment options much earlier in a patient’s diagnosis.
The research by La Trobe University have secured more than $640,000 from US-based Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and its local funding partner, the Shake It Up Australia Foundation, to further develop the test.
According to the university, the test could be available to the public in as little as five years if sufficient additional funds can be raised for its rapid development.
Microbiologist Paul Fisher, who leads the research team at La Trobe University, says it’s an exciting discovery which could improve the quality of life for people with the condition.
“The MJFF grant will allow us to extend our study so we can discover new ways to help diagnose and monitor progression of the disease. It is even possible that the blood test could be developed to detect all types of neuro-degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s,” he said.
An estimated 80,000 Australians and more than 6.3 million people worldwide are affected by Parkinson’s, which can severely impair mobility and quality of life.