The onset of a tremor or notice that one arm isn’t swinging as freely as the other can be clues to a Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis, but there is still no blood test, biopsy or imaging scan that can definitively tell you that you have PD. For now, doctors rely on a clinical assessment, and even the best neurologists and movement disorder specialists can miss the mark at times.
In the latest Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) Parkinson’s Podcast, contributing editor Dave Iverson speaks with Kathleen Shannon, MD, professor of neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, about the need for a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease.
“To think that we’ve progressed to this stage of medical knowledge and not have a simple way to diagnose is a little bit hard for people to accept,” says Kathleen.
Neuroimaging may hold great potential, with efforts ongoing to develop a radiotracer that will allow visualization of alpha-synuclein load, a measure of that pesky protein that clumps in the brains of people with PD.
Watch our webinar on Parkinson's diagnosis.