Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both neurodegenerative disorders that will affect the central nervous system of the patient. While they are distinct conditions with different clinical presentations, there are a few similarities between the two diseases.
Let’s consider, for instance, neurodegeneration. Both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s consist of progressive degeneration and loss of specific types of nerve cells in the patient’s brain. In the case of Alzheimer’s, there is widespread neuronal death and atrophy throughout the brain, especially in regions involved in memory and cognition. As for Parkinson’s, the degeneration primarily affects dopaminergic neurons in the brain region called the substantia nigra, which leads to motor symptoms.
Carleton University researchers develop a potentially revolutionizing tool
Tracy Brander’s husband was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease after waiting way too much for help coming from a neurologist. With a family history of Alzheimer’s, the woman is concerned about her children’s risk and wants them diagnosed before symptoms appear. Carleton University researchers have developed a groundbreaking testing device that detects early signs of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s through biomolecular activities in saliva, according to iHeartRadio.
The new and non-invasive tool uses bio-electronic sensors to monitor hormone concentration and protein aggregation, allowing for easier and earlier diagnosis. If the neurodegenerative diseases are detected early, it can reduce the need for extensive medication and care.
Tracy Brander spoke about her husband’s condition for CTVNews:
It wasn’t bad for the first years, you know. But the past three years it has been terrible for him. He can hardly walk. He’s in a lot of pain.
There’s no use opening the champagne just yet, as the new device is in the prototyping stage. Clinical trials will be organized soon to see exactly if the new invention can be as efficient as scientists hope. Brander is personally interested in the research and hopes to have her children diagnosed before reaching her husband’s stage of the disease.