The VCU Schools of Medicine and Engineering are testing a new diagnostic tool for Parkinson’s Disease that could detect it up to ten years before symptoms appear.
Dr. Mark Baron and his colleagues have been using a commercially available infrared eye scanning device on thousands of patients.
Diagnosing Parkinson’s so far has been slow and sometimes inconclusive. But Dr. Baron and his colleagues believe this test to be cheaper, better and capable of early detection.
Dr. Baron says scanning for Parkinson’s with these devices should become a routine part of medical examinations. And with one million Americans now affected, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has awarded VCU one million dollars for research on the device.
Dr. Baron says earlier intervention can help with current medications, and may become even crucial with immunotherapy solutions now being tested in Europe, with the hope the disease can be treated more effectively and perhaps halted altogether.