Gait and tremor may be the best early predictors of Parkinson’s disease


Author: Johanna Stiefler JohnsonPublished: 3 June 2021

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Gait and tremor may be the most identifiable early signs of Parkinson’s disease, according to researchers from the US, France and Germany.

The researchers analysed data from two large health-record databases, including an insurance company’s de-identified administrative claims. Selecting 8,382 participants with Parkinson’s disease, the scientists evaluated individual occurrences of reported symptoms over time – and how these corresponded to their Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The analysis revealed a “pre-diagnostic window” in which symptoms were reported but no diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was made. The most dominant symptoms in this pre-diagnostic window were abnormal gait and tremor, highlighting “the existence of a population of [Parkinson’s] patients whose diagnoses can be accelerated”.

The researchers concluded: “Accurate, prospective identification of high-risk individuals would allow for earlier diagnosis, intervention and more effective large-scale evaluation of potential therapeutics.”

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