Tags: parkinsons | breath | test

Parkinson's Breath Test May Help Detect, Treat Disease

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 08:15 PM

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are studying whether Parkinson’s disease can be detected with a breath test.

After conducting a study of 57 people that suggested the disease can be detected with a breath test, the researchers are launching a the three-year study, which will include 200 people, Cambridge News reported.

About 7.5 million people worldwide have the disease.

"Looking at the breath of people with Parkinson's is an exciting new venture, we're hoping it will not only improve diagnosis, but also that it will tell us more about how Parkinson's develops and whether there are different types of Parkinson's,” Professor Roger Barker, a leader of the study, said, according to Cambridge News. "The biggest hope would be that there may be molecules in the breath of people with Parkinson's which throw up new options for drug targets."

A breath test could help with earlier diagnosis, leading to earlier treatment of the disease, which currently is diagnosed based on symptoms and test results to rule out other diseases.

"A breath test would be really appealing because it's non-invasive, non-painful and can be done in seconds," Dr. Simon Stott, who is part of the study, said, according to the BBC. "While it wouldn't replace what doctors already do, it could be a useful diagnostic tool to help them."

Steve Ford, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, which is funding the study along with the British Council, wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post that doctors can’t say with absolute certainty whether a person has the degenerative disease, which can leave people struggling to walk, speak and sleep.

“It might sound far-fetched but there's evidence that breath has real potential to reveal secrets of the brain,” he wrote. “They've already shown in a study of 57 people that breath alone could differentiate people with Parkinson's and healthy individuals. And it's not a completely new idea — breath tests have been used to diagnose cancer, with dogs even being able to sniff out the disease.”

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge are studying whether Parkinson's disease can be detected with a breath test.
parkinsons, breath, test
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2015-15-11
Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 08:15 PM
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