The New Diagnostic Test for Parkinson's
HealthWatch (WFRV) - In its early stages, Parkinson's disease is not easy to diagnose, but one test that's been in development for a decade could change how we look at the disease.
Shaking is the tell-tale sign of Parkinson's disease that surfaces years after it first takes hold.
"It starts a decade, maybe one, two, three, before you start having motor symptoms," Mark Baron, M.D., Director of the Southeast Veterans Affairs Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center, and Professor of Neurology at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center told Ivanhoe.
Doctor Mark Baron believes his eye test is the key to early diagnosis.
"Everyone with Parkinson's disease has a tremor behind the eyes," Dr. Baron said.
While wearing a head device patients follow a dot on the screen. Doctors then analyze the data looking for the tremors.
"Can we actually predict whether they are going to get it from the eye test, and the answer is yes," Dr. Baron said.
"We hooked him up to this system and immediately the test said A, is not Parkinson's and B, most of the tremors are coming from the drugs," George Gitchel, MS, Health Science Research Specialist at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, said.
"It was a big relief," Jimmy Sale said.
A promising test that could lead to better treatment options earlier in the disease.
Doctor Baron would like to see the eye test become a screening tool used during regular doctor visits. He says along with Parkinson's, the eye test could also help detect other movement disorders.