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I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Simple Smell Test Might Be Able To Predict Parkinson's Disease 10 Years Before Diagnosis

September 14, 2017     
Sense of smell may become compromised well before Parkinson's disease is diagnosed. (Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Since earlier diagnosis is generally linked to better outcomes in most diseases that physicians treat, screening to detect early signs of disease is ideal. In this way, therapies and interventions can be tailored to fit a patient’s specific needs.
One current example is colonoscopy and fecal occult blood testing to screen for colon cancer. But even more promising are scientific advances such as a “liquid biopsy”, a blood test looking for specific DNA circulating from tumors, not only to screen and detect disease, but monitor progression as well.
But for certain diseases, early diagnosis is problematic. For example, in Parkinson's disease, a movement disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, and progressive muscle weakness, the damage to nerve cells occurs well before such symptoms appear. 

Apart from specialized MRI scans (resting state functional MRI), and potential blood-based protein markers, the ability to screen for and accurately detect who is a risk for the disease remains elusive.
And often overlooked is the fact that in patients with Parkinson’s, the deterioration of the sense of smell is the second most common symptom noted, after rigidity and slow movement.
The often subtle development of its characteristic resting tremor, along with slowed movements and loss of normal posture, signals the beginning signs of the disease that over 10-20 years leads to progressive muscle weakness that is eventually crippling.
Prior research using smell tests in Parkinson’s suggests that the sense of smell may be compromised as early as 4-5 years prior to a formal diagnosis, well before any signs of tremor or muscle weakness set in.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2017/09/14/a-simple-smell-test-might-be-able-to-predict-parkinsons-disease-10-years-before-diagnosis/#5f8853672af9

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