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New Blood Test for Parkinson's Studied

Test Has High Degree of Accuracy; Parkinson’s Experts Cautiously Optimistic

Blood Test for Parkinson's: Second Opinion

"It is very exciting to see that many groups around the world have been attempting to develop blood tests for Parkinson's disease," Michael Okun, MD, medical director of the National Parkinson Foundation, tells WebMD. He reviewed the results.

Although Okun calls the new study interesting, he says that ''it only included 29 patients."

However, he remains hopeful that the research will lead to a usable blood test.

"It sounds feasible and probably worth pursuing," says M. Flint Beal, MD, the Anne Parrish Titzell professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He also reviewed the findings. He is also developing an early blood test for Parkinson's disease that uses a different approach.

"This is something that should be validated," he says of the new test. "What frequently happens is, the test looks very good initially. When you expand it to a larger population, the accuracy falls off." Further study is needed, he says.

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