Although Parkinson’s remain to be the second most common degenerative diseases in the world, experts are still struggling to find a way to detect and treat the disease. But, researchers say they now have reasons to believe that it is now possible to diagnose this illness by a simple eye test.
Parkinson’s is a disease that affects the nervous system through the death of a cell. It usually shows signs after 70% of the neurons have already been damaged. Tremor is usually one of the symptoms; it is the shaking of the hands and leg that is unintentional. Doctors believe that once this sign shows, it is already worse.
Scientists are now challenged to research on how to detect the disease before it worsens. They are finding ways to diagnose the disease before the signs would show up.
Researchers are now working on detecting Parkinson’s through the retina since it is an extension of the Central Nervous System. They have tried to induce Parkinson’s by injecting rotenone in mice. They were able to see that the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are swelling on the 20th day of injecting the neurotoxin before the mice show signs of Parkinson’s. This shows that they can already detect the disease before the signs show. On the 60th day of careful observations, the mice showed signs of the disease, according to WCCF TECH.
UCL Professor of Glaucoma and Retinal Neurodegeneration Studies, Francesca Cordeiro said “This is potentially a revolutionary breakthrough in the early diagnosis and treatment of one of the world’s most debilitating diseases. These tests mean we might be able to intervene much earlier and more effectively treat people with this devastating condition.”
According to Dr. Arthur Roach, Director of Research at the Charity Parkinson’s UK, through a BBC News report, there is “an urgent need for a simple and accurate way of detecting the condition, particularly in its early stages.”
Since these research are only tested to the mice and not humans, researchers must do some more tests until it is safe for humans. Patients with the Parkinson’s disease are hoping for the breakthrough, yet they need more time and right the tools for further research.