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New Diagnostic Tool Sheds Light on How to Detect and Treat Parkinson's Disease

Scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine have found a molecular defect present in almost all Parkinson's patients which, when targeted and addressed, may help identify people who are vulnerable to the disease and prevent the disease's progression.

“We’ve identified a molecular marker that could allow doctors to diagnose Parkinson’s accurately, early and in a clinically practical way,” said Xinnan Wang, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery. “This marker could be used to assess drug candidates’ capacity to counter the defect and stall the disease’s progression.”
The scientists also identified a compound that appears to reverse the defect in cells taken from Parkinson’s patients. In animal models of the disease, the compound prevented the death of the neurons whose loss underlies the disease.

(Image credit: Louis Hansel/Unsplash)

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