AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Blood Test May Help Differentiate Parkinson's From Similar Diseases

A simple blood test may be as accurate as a spinal fluid test when trying to determine whether symptoms are caused by Parkinson’s disease or another atypical parkinsonism disorder, according to a new study. In early stages of disease, it can be difficult to differentiate between Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonism disorders (APDs) like multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration, because symptoms can overlap. But identifying these diseases early is important because expectations concerning progression and potential benefit from treatment differ dramatically between Parkinson’s and APDs. “We have found that concentrations of a nerve protein in the blood can discriminate between these diseases as accurately as concentrations of that same protein in spinal fluid,” said study author Oskar Hansson, MD, PhD, of Lund University in Lund, Sweden.

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