Low-cost sensor can spot early-stage Parkinson’s disease

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Researchers in Brazil have created a new electrochemical sensor using a 3D printer that can detect Parkinson’s disease at different stages.

The device can provide early diagnosis and could also be used to identify other diseases, according to an article published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.

The sensor can quickly indicate the level of the protein PARK7/DJ-1 in human blood and synthetic cerebrospinal fluid.

This molecule is associated with Parkinson’s at levels below 40 micrograms per liter.

The sensor can be printed in different shapes and sizes and can also be made smaller for a portable device that requires a small sample.

To make the sensor, researchers used a commercial filament made of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable polymer, along with a conductive material (graphene) and other additives.

Three electrodes were printed on the plastic substrate and chemically treated to make them more conductive.

Specific antibodies for PARK7/DJ-1 were immobilized on the surface of the electrodes, and the sensor was used to detect the protein at different levels.

The average level in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s at different stages is approximately 30 micrograms per liter.

The new sensor provides an affordable and simple way to diagnose Parkinson’s at an early stage, even before symptoms appear.

It also has the potential to be used in diagnosing other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and infertility. The researchers are also developing a sensor to diagnose yellow fever.

How to detect Parkinson’s disease early

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.

Early detection is critical because it allows for earlier treatment, which can slow the disease’s progression.

The earlier the disease is detected, the better the chances are of maintaining the quality of life for patients. There are a few ways to detect Parkinson’s disease early:

Clinical examination: A neurologist can perform a clinical examination to evaluate a patient’s motor function, including tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement).

A clinical exam can also include evaluating the patient’s cognitive function, which is an important aspect of Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as a dopamine transporter (DAT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can help identify changes in the brain that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

DAT scans use a special dye that binds to dopamine transporters in the brain, which can help identify if there is a dopamine deficiency.

Blood tests: Researchers are developing blood tests to detect biomarkers associated with Parkinson’s disease. Biomarkers are substances in the body that can indicate the presence of a disease.

Blood tests may be able to identify changes in proteins associated with Parkinson’s disease, which can help with earlier diagnosis.

Electrochemical sensors: Researchers are developing electrochemical sensors, like the one described in the article, which can detect the presence of certain biomarkers in the blood associated with Parkinson’s disease.

These sensors can be used to diagnose the disease early, even before the appearance of clinical symptoms.

In summary, early detection of Parkinson’s disease is important for maintaining the quality of life. Current methods for detection include clinical examination, imaging tests, blood tests, and electrochemical sensors.

Researchers continue to develop new methods for early detection, which could help improve outcomes for patients.

If you care about Parkinson’s disease, please read studies about Vitamin E that may help prevent Parkinson’s disease, and Vitamin D could benefit people with Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about a new way to treat Parkinson’s disease, and results showing COVID-19 may be linked to Parkinson’s disease.

The study was conducted by Cristiane Kalinke et al and published in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.

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