Can skin samples be used to diagnose Parkinson’s disease?

Written by Sharon Salt, Senior Editor

A simple skin test may be able to accurately identify Parkinson’s disease, according to research conducted by scientists at Iowa State University (IA, USA), the Banner Sun Health Research Institute (AZ, USA) and Mayo Clinic (AZ USA). The study, which has been published in Movement Disorders, demonstrates how a chemical assay can detect clumping of α-synuclein in skin samples to help diagnose Parkinson’s. The research relies on a method known as the real-time quaking induced conversation assay – a test that was originally developed to detect mad cow disease. “Since there’s no easy and reliable test available for the early...

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