A breath test for Parkinson’s disease diagnosis

Experts believe that a simple breath test could help doctors detect and diagnose Parkinson’s disease. The test looks for a unique signature of chemicals in exhaled breath. Small studies in volunteers have begun and early findings suggest the test can identify those with the debilitating brain condition.
Larger trials are now planned to see if it could truly be a useful test, particularly for picking up Parkinson’s in its earliest stages. Currently, no test can conclusively show that a person has Parkinson’s. Instead, doctors reach a diagnosis based on a person’s symptoms and test results, such as brain scans to rule out other diseases. At this stage, Parkinson’s may already be fairly advanced. Identifying it earlier would be beneficial because it would mean treatment could be given sooner.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition where there is gradual loss of nerve cells from the brain. And it is thought that this degradation leaves a chemical footprint in the body that could potentially be used in diagnostic tests.