In Parkinson’s disease, the deterioration of specific brain cells causes problems with movement and other health problems that get worse over time. Unfortunately, there is still no treatment that reverses or stops the disease.
Several studies are underway to test treatments that might protect the brain from further damage in the early stages of Parkinson’s. For people to benefit from these treatments, it is important to find reliable biomarkers to detect Parkinson’s as early as possible.
Before someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, they may have experienced other symptoms for several years (known as prodromal symptoms). Researchers have studied these symptoms, as well as genetics, lifestyle, and blood biochemistry data, to see how well they can predict the development of Parkinson’s. The results are promising, but there is still room for improvement.