Testing for Parkinson’s disease early enables preventive brain care to delay the onset of symptoms. Early detection leads to finding a cure for Parkinson’s.
For the first time in history, our Parkinson’s Early Detection Test empowers doctors to diagnose Parkinson’s disease decades before symptoms.
We track the prion biomarker, synuclein, that drives Parkinson’s disease.
Early detection is the missing key in the fight to end Parkinson’s.
It’s Accurate. Private. Cost Efficient.
We are launching two types of services:
(Pending Regulatory Approval)
Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s – Why the warning signs may be too late
If occasional tremors, general stiffness, or a family history of Parkinson’s disease has you worried for yourself or a loved one, it can be frightening to wait for the slow onset of symptoms and a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
Since early signs of Parkinson’s can be confused with other illnesses, it can take months, or even years for a clear clinical diagnosis, even by the most experienced doctors.
The key to successful management of Parkinson’s is early testing and biomarker diagnosis, especially because most Parkinson’s clinical symptoms occur late in the development of the disease when the damage to the brain has already been done.
We now know that exercise, diet, as well as lifestyle changes can help slow down the symptoms of this debilitating disease, but these changes benefit people the most when applied during the early stages of disease as symptoms are less pronounced. The earlier we can diagnose and treat, the better the outcome is likely to be.
What is Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects specific areas in the brain dedicated to controlling voluntary movements. The area of the brain most frequently affected by Parkinson’s is called the substantial nigra, and the loss of brain cells in this region reduces dopamine production in the brain.
The major treatment at present is L-DOPA, which may help to partially respect levels of dopamine in the damaged substantia nigra. Parkinson’s disease, or Parkinson’s or PD, is generally a slow-moving disease that progresses differently in each person.
Typically associated with tremors (mainly at rest), bradykinesia (slowness of movement), limb rigidity, and walking and balance problems, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, though many are working towards just that.
Furthermore, while the risk of death is low, complications from Parkinson’s can be serious, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States.
Early Signs of Parkinson’s
While the late-stage symptoms of Parkinson’s are well established, the fact that Parkinson’s symptoms are present only once the disease has substantially progressed makes it hard, yet critically important, to be aware of the early warning signs of Parkinson’s.
Some may begin to show little to no facial expressions in their day-to-day life, while others may stop swinging their arms when they walk. The speech of some people may become soft or slurred, and other physical movements may start to change or become more difficult as time passes.
Additionally, the disease affects each patient slightly differently and on a different timetable. This makes generalizations of clinical symptoms difficult at best and emphasizes our need for some kind of early biomarker testing for Parkinson’s.
Most PD patients receive a Parkinson’s clinical diagnosis only after decades of battling the disease before symptoms appear.
We need to do more… and we need to do it earlier.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Unlike other diseases that show symptoms early on, Parkinson’s reveals itself slowly, and once symptoms are visible, it’s usually a sign that the disease has entered a late stage. Nonetheless, one of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s is tremors or shaking in the fingers, hands, or limbs.
A common form of this is rubbing the thumb and forefinger, which is known as a pill-rolling tremor. Another symptom is slowed movement, or bradykinesia, which can make simple tasks such as getting out of a chair or walking difficult.
Yet another symptom is muscle stiffness, which can occur in any part of the body, limiting the range of motion and may even present with significant pain. Worsening posture and the loss of balance are other common symptoms of Parkinson’s, as is a general loss of voluntary movements such as blinking or smiling. Other skills such as writing and speech impairment are also common, making communication more difficult.
Parkinson’s Disease Progression
For many, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a curse, and many Parkinson’s patients lead a full and active lifestyle. Additionally, certain therapies and treatments can help patients minimize or delay their symptoms with dopaminergic medications that bolster Parkinson’s reduced dopamine levels in the brain.
Due to how Parkinson’s works, the onset of symptoms is typically related to late stages of the disease when a significant amount of substantia nigra neurons have already been impaired or lost, which eventually manifests itself as symptoms throughout the body.
In addition to movement symptoms that can affect everything from walking to blinking, Parkinson’s is also associated with thinking and mood changes that further complicate dealing with this disease.
These include complaints such as brain fog or thinking difficulty, as well as depression and other mood disorders. Problems such as swallowing, chewing, or eating are also common, as are sleeping difficulty, bladder problems, and constipation. Dizziness when standing due to blood pressure changes, reduced sense of smell and taste, and general pain and fatigue have also been frequently reported.
Breakthrough Advancements In Parkinson’s Diagnosis
Currently, there’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But emerging science is helping doctors and researchers discover early biomarker testing for Parkinson’s that just might help you or someone you love live a fuller and richer life with the disease.
By tracking the biomarker footprints of Parkinson’s disease early, scientists are able to conduct research to develop successful treatments. The earlier the treatment is applied, the better the chances are for the patient. And one day soon, the combination of early diagnosis and new innovative treatments may help cure the disease once and for all.
Here at Amprion, we’re helping patients and doctors fight Parkinson’s with two tests designed for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
The Synuclein test detects the misfolded forms of protein named alpha-synuclein (“synuclein”), a biomarker associated with Parkinson’s disease, using spinal fluid, or CSF.
This is the most sensitive biomarker testing for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s at the earliest stages.
Similarly, the Synuclein test is also available using blood. It is worth noting that during the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease, the blood test is less sensitive than the CSF test or spinal tap.
Why? Watch our short video that explains why the CSF test gives the definitive answer in the earliest stages of the disease, decades before the start of any clinical symptoms.
How Early Testing For Parkinson’s Works
Therefore, for patients who are at the intermediate development stages, the Synuclein blood test also detects Parkinson’s disease before symptoms are observed. Once approved, both tests will be available for those who already show early cognitive and motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, as well as for those who do not show any symptoms, but are worried about a Parkinson’s diagnosis due to aging, genetics, repeated head injuries, family history or other risk factors.
To learn more about brain health, take the Parkinson’s Awareness Quiz.
For those of you who would like to sign up for early detection testing for Parkinson’s due to family history, genetics, or previous head injuries, sign up on our Parkinson’s Priority List.
We believe our Parkinson’s Early Testing℠ accelerates drug development to stop Parkinson’s disease. Join us in the fight to end Parkinson’s before we lose another generation.
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