Lack of objective tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease (PD) challenges drug development and patient care. While scientists are looking to pinpoint PD earlier through skin and spinal fluid, there is also promising research on some less invasive methods. In this podcast, host Dave Iverson talks with two researchers on the significance of these non-invasive tests.
“What we’re doing now is to really try and identify whether there’s a particular secretion in the skin of Parkinson’s patients and what it smells like and then how can we detect it,” says Samantha Hutten, PhD, senior associate director at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is funding projects to sniff out Parkinson’s disease.
Another MJFF-funded study led by Mark Baron, MD, professor of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University, breaks down what eye movement means in relation to PD.
“If you look at a target — assuming we aren’t going to have Parkinson’s disease — and we stare at a dot on a screen, our eye is not moving. People with Parkinson’s disease — it’s moving in all directions, so it’s not staying perfectly still,” says Dr. Baron.