Technology & Science

Blood test for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's may soon be available in U.S.

A blood test that offers patients an early diagnosis of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's could be available by the end of the year in the U.S., says the test's manufacturer.

A blood test that offers patients an early diagnosis of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's could be available by the end of the year in the U.S., says the manufacturer of the test.

The company, Power3 Medical Products, based in Oklahoma, says it plans to bring the test to market by the third quarter or fourth quarter of this year.

The test, called NuroPro and which would be administered in a clinical setting, identifies 59 protein biomarkers that flag neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or Lou Gehrig's disease. It can also assess whether a patient is free of any troubling neurological indicators with a sensitivity rate in the high 90s, according to the firm.

Medical experts are encouraged by the launch of the test, though they suggest further study.

"While the test seems promising, larger studies need to be conducted before it can be confirmed as being helpful in making a diagnosis," Kieran Breen, director of research at the Parkinson's Disease Society, said in a release.

Breen said the test may be helpful in monitoring the speed of the disease and its progression, and to gauge how well drugs are working on reducing symptoms.

In Canada, there is no single test that can accurately diagnose Alzheimer's disease. The diagnosis is made through a systematic assessment that eliminates other possible causes, according to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada.

There is no word on whether NuroPro will come to Canada.