Neurologists at Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute have several tools to help diagnose Parkinson’s disease, including Syn-One, a newer skin biopsy test that’s shown success identifying an abnormal protein associated with the family of conditions which includes Parkinson’s.
Skin Biopsy Test Among Parkinson’s Disease Diagnostic Tools
Syn-One helps neurologists identify abnormal protein
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“This is another tool available to help us arrive at an accurate diagnosis,” says Behrang Saminejad, MD, Movement Disorders Chief with the Neuroscience Institute. “It can help us rule out other neurological conditions with similar symptoms.”
Nearly 1 million people are living with Parkinson’s in the U.S., according to the Parkinson’s Foundation, and about 90,000 new Parkinson’s patients are diagnosed every year.
“There’s no simple, single test to definitively identify Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Saminejad. “It’s a clinical diagnosis, meaning we take symptoms, physical exam results and medical history into account when working to determine what’s at the root of a patient’s symptoms.”
Syn-One, developed by CND Life Sciences, has been available since 2019 and made medical headlines last year when a study supported by the National Institutes of Health showed the test is successful, or highly sensitive, in identifying the abnormal protein. According to CND, the test is “highly specific for a diagnosis of a synucleinopathy but does not currently distinguish between synucleinopathies.”
Synucleinopathies are a group of neurodegenerative disorders – including Parkinson’s – in which the protein alpha-synuclein accumulates abnormally in cells or in fibers called axons that help transmit nerve impulses from cell to cell.
While this test is a breakthrough, it is still just one part of an assessment a neurologist would provide. “Diagnosing neurological conditions can be difficult in early stages and tools like the Syn-One test help us get the right care to a patient sooner,” Dr. Saminejad says.