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PD: Causes & Early Detection



While the disease still remains a mystery, scientists have been able to identify potential causes that may lead to Parkinson’s Disease in future. Multiple of such causes should ring a bell to check with the doctor. While the disease manifests in the brain, it has links to various other areas like gut, blood vital levels, lifestyle, toxins and much more.


There also have been various innovative techniques being developed to detect the disease quickly, either through skin swab, voice and MRI. The new voice-based technique can detect the disease in 10 seconds through the use of AI. These efforts by scientists will surely help the humanity someday.


Finally, the importance of good sleep can not be emphasized enough. Sleeping less than 5 hours regularly can be detrimental for not just the patients, but even normal people. Last article highlights the study related to sleep.


Following are some of the interesting articles related to causes leading to PD and some of the new techniques for early detections:


1)

Potential causes of Parkinson’s Disease

While scientists are still trying to understand the disease and yet to come up with the remedy for this disease, some scientists have identified eight potential causes that may lead to Parkinson’s Disease. Following is the list of these likely factors:

  1. Gut dysfunction: There is a two-way relationship between brain and gut. E.g. chronic constipation can be an early sign of PD

  2. Gluten: Gluten sensitivity has been linked with some of the motor symptoms of PD

  3. Autoimmunity: It has been found that fragments of rogue protein (alpha-synuclein) make immune system to mistake dopamine producing neurons as foreign tissue and attack them

  4. Blood sugar imbalance: This imbalance (hyperglycaemia or insulin resistance) may damage some proteins, which eventually turn rogue

  5. Iron overload: This can happen in people who have genetic predisposition to store excess iron

  6. Circadian disruption: 24-hour biological cycle controls several of our bodily functions. This cycle may get disturbed due to factors like too much exposure to blue light at night or abnormal sleep – wake cycles.

  7. Stress: Stress increases Cortisol that may promote pro-inflammatory state, which kills dopamine producing neurons.

  8. Exposure to toxins: Exposure to toxins can generate Oxidative stress that may lead to accumulation of rogue protein in brain.

Following is the link to original source:



2)

10 seconds to detect the disease

Scientists from a top university have devised a technique to detect the disease using the voice of the potential patient. The technique uses Artificial intelligence to detect the changes to the voice and come up with the result in 10 seconds!


Following is the link to the original source:

https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2022/oct/voice-screening



3)

MRI for early detection

Early detection is key to managing the Parkinson’s Disease better. Scientists are working on way to detect the disease early using the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It is a non-invasive technique that can detect identify and measure subtle changes in small areas of brain.

While a lot more research is needed, this surely sounds promising!


Following is the link to the original source:



4)

Detecting Parkinson’s in 3 minutes!

As has been emphasized by doctors earlier, early detection of Parkinson’s Disease is key to disease management. Scientists have now discovered a quickest way to detect Parkinson’s Disease. This technique needs a swab of skin. A test is run on this swab for 3 mins. This test builds on the “smell” test of PD. The chemical mixture in sebum changes for PD and this test exactly checks for those changes.


Following is the link to the original source:



5) Sleep is key to health

Researchers have found that middle aged people who sleep 5 hours or less are at a risk of developing several chronic illnesses from cancer to heart disease. It has been found that people who are aged 50 or more are at a 30% higher risk of developing chronic health conditions as compared to those people who sleep for 7 hours a night. This risk increases to 40% for people who are 70 or above.


Following is the link to the original study:



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