Biotech Updates

Researchers Develop PCR-based Blood Diagnostic Test for Parkinson's Disease

September 6, 2023

Researchers from the Duke University Medical Center developed a blood-based diagnostic test to assist early detection of Parkinson's Disease. The researchers utilized the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology in detecting levels of DNA damage in mitochondria.

Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, causing slow movements, tremors, and balance problems. Parkinson's Disease is usually diagnosed after serious neurological damage. Hence, early detection is crucial for managing symptoms and treatments, even before serious symptoms develop.

The study revealed that early stages of Parkinson's Disease are highly associated with statistically significant increases in mitochondrial DNA damage. This PCR-based test allows real-time quantification of DNA damage in mitochondria through a simple blood test.

While this is a significant breakthrough in biotechnology, Laurie Sanders, Ph.D., the senior author, also hopes to identify drugs that stop or reverse mitochondrial DNA damage to help treatment, or potential cure, of Parkinson's Disease.

For more information, read Science.

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