Breakthrough Allows Parkinson’s Progression to be Measured
GAINESVILLE, Fla., May 26 (UPI) — Researchers have found a way to measure changes to an area of the brain as Parkinson’s disease progresses, offering a way to actually monitor the advance of the disease.
The substania nigra of a person with Parkinson’s has more free water, or fluid that is unconstrained by brain tissue, that increases as the disease gets worse. Researchers at the University of Florida have used a type of MRI called diffusion imaging to not only to show this progression but to potentially be able to predict it.
“The Parkinson’s drugs available today help reduce symptoms. They don’t slow the progression of the disease, which is the major unmet medical need,” said David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., an applied physiology and kinesiology professor at the UF, in a press release. “We’ve provided a tool to test promising new therapies that could address progression.”
Vaillancourt said that the discovery could allow doctors to better differentiate Parkinson’s from other similar diseases, but also to improve the accuracy of clinical