Tear tests could lead to Parkinson’s diagnosis

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Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 13 June 2018

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A study – carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, US – has suggested that testing individuals’ tears could provide a cheap way to screen for Parkinson’s.

The research found that the tears of those living with Parkinson’s had five times the level of alpha synuclein – a protein molecule that forms toxic clumps and causes nerve damage. It is hoped that the research will lead to early diagnosis of Parkinson’s and help doctors delay the disease.

Dr Mark Lew, who led the study, said: “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.

“And because 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.”

For a collection of the latest Parkinson’s-related research papers please visit Parkinson’s Europe website here.

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