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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: Study Details continued...

    Overall, the test identified 93% of those who had Parkinson's. It identified correctly 100% of those who did not have it. Both results are considered important.

    It could tell the difference between blood samples from patients with Parkinson's, those with the other disorders, and those who were healthy.

    Nagele estimates the test, when and if available, would cost about $200.

    The new research is a ''proof of principle'' study, he says, and much more research is needed.

    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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