There’s a new blood test for Parkinson’s disease

parkinsons blood test screen shot 2016 04 21 at 3 57 40 pm
For many of the millions around the world currently living with Parkinson’s disease, their diagnosis came too late. The degenerative disease and its tell-tale symptoms have long plagued aging populations around the world, but now, science believes it may have a way to catch the illness earlier, offering greater opportunities to advance treatment.

Australia’s La Trobe University has developed a blood test that researchers claim “will enable doctors to detect with unprecedented reliability the abnormal metabolism of blood cells in people with Parkinson’s.” This, the team says, will allow doctors to provide their patients with treatment options at an earlier stage, ultimately allowing for better quality of life for those living with this condition.

Today, it is estimated that over 6.3 million people around the world suffer from the disease. Worse yet, diagnosis is often difficult, as the current practice is no better than a process of elimination — often, the Guardian points out, patients are diagnosed or even treated for a different disease altogether before doctors recognize their mistake. But now, there may be a solution.

Key to the group’s research has been the discovery that damaged mitochondria, previously thought to be the culprit behind Parkinson’s, actually has nothing to do with the disease.

“Based on the current literature we were expecting reduced oxygen consumption in the mitochondria, which leads to a build-up of toxic byproducts, but what we saw was the exact opposite,” Fisher said. “We were able to show the mitochondria were perfectly normal but were working four times as hard, which also leads to increased production of poisonous byproducts. So what has changed is our understanding of why these poisonous byproducts are being produced, which opens up new avenues for research into treatments.”

Thus far, the blood test has been tested on 38 patients, 29 of whom have the disease and nine of whom serve as a control group, and the results have been promising.

“This is a really exciting discovery. Parkinson’s is a debilitating disorder and currently there is no cure. However, early diagnosis and treatment could enable better outcomes and a greater quality of life for people with the condition, which will be of great benefit to sufferers and their families,” La Trobe Professor of Microbiology Paul Fisher said in a press release regarding the discovery.

“It is even possible that the blood test could be developed to detect all types of neuro-degenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s,” he added.

Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…
Emerging Tech

Scientists successfully grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish

Researchers have managed to grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish for the first time, and even to successfully implant them into live mice. The results could be a game-changer for diabetes.
Wearables

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Deals

Want to eat healthy in 2019? 10 everyday kitchen products from Walmart can help

If 2019 is the year you curb your delivery habit and start getting intimate with your kitchen. After all, you want to eat well. The only problem is that you’re not sure how to begin. Here are some fantastic kitchen products to aid your…
Emerging Tech

This energy-generating treadmill cuts your waistline and your power bill

Fitness equipment maker SportsArt was on hand at CES 2019 with its latest piece of sustainable sports equipment - the electricity-generating Verde G690 treadmill.
Emerging Tech

Stomach implant device uses jolts of electricity to fight obesity

An implant created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could help fight obesity by attaching to users' stomachs and then suppressing feelings of hunger using jolts of electricity.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…
Product Review

One breath into this device could change what you eat forever

Anyone living with a food intolerance knows the pain — literally and figuratively — of dealing with it, and even identifying what the cause of the problem is. The FoodMarble Aire wants to solve this, and we took a closer look at CES…
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Health & Fitness

Futuristic mask filters out air pollution for cyclists and runners

A concern for cyclists in urban environments is staying safe from airborne pollutants. A cycling mask shown off at CES 2019 could help combat this problem by blocking out air pollution to keep cyclists' lungs clear as they ride.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.