Breath Test Device May Help Diagnose Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease


Breath Test Device May Help Diagnose Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease




“This article was re-published with permission from – Israeli Innovation News.


A team of scientists at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has developed a device they say can detect early-stage Parkinson’s disease using a breath test.

In a July study published in the scientific journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, the scientists detailed their findings following testing of the device on the exhaled breath of 29 Parkinson’s disease patients after initial diagnosis by an experienced neurologist, and 19 control subjects of similar age.  Their results, according to the research, showed accuracy levels of 81 percent.

Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra, has four main symptoms and can be difficult to accurately diagnose in its early stages. Symptoms develop gradually and include shaking or tremors, a slowness of movement called bradykinesia, stiffness in the extremities, and postural instability. Diagnoses are often first made by family physicians after which neurologists are usually consulted, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

There is no cure and treatment involves medication for symptoms – though none that can reverse the effects of the disease – and surgical therapy.

Parkinson’s disease will affect approximately one million people in the United States by 2020, while ten million worldwide are currently living with the disease. Some 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year.

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