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Saliva gland test for Parkinson's shows promise, study finds
Date:1/10/2013

ing new therapies."

The abnormal Parkinson's protein was detected in nine of the 11 patients who had enough tissue to study. While still being analyzed, the rate of positive findings in the biopsies of the lower lip glands appears much lower than for the lower jaw gland.

"This study provides the first direct evidence for the use of submandibular gland biopsies as a diagnostic test for living patients with Parkinson's disease," Dr. Adler. "This finding may be of great use when needing definitive proof of Parkinson's disease, especially when considering performing invasive procedures such as deep brain stimulation surgery or gene therapy."

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the best-known sign of Parkinson's, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Currently, diagnosis is made based on medical history, a review of signs and symptoms, a neurological and physical examination, and by ruling out other conditions. Up to 30 percent of patients may be misdiagnosed early in the disease.

Although Parkinson's disease can't be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms.


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Contact: Jim Mcveigh
mcveigh.jim@mayo.edu
480-301-4368
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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