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Scientists Discover Handwriting can Diagnose Parkinson's

A new Israeli study suggests an innovative and noninvasive method of diagnosing Parkinson’s at a fairly early stage

By: Abigail Klein Leichman
Published: September 17th, 2013 in Health » Israel

A new Israeli study comparing the handwriting of healthy people to those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) holds out the promise of providing a simple diagnostic tool at the earliest stages of the progressive disorder caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain’s muscle-movement control areas.

As many as 10 million people worldwide suffer the tremors, impaired balance and rigidity associated with PD, which has no cure. The handwriting study is the latest in many Israeli investigations into causes, diagnosis and treatment for PD.

Unfortunately, physicians can diagnose PD definitively only by observing clinical symptoms that appear at a relatively advanced stage, or by administering a test called SPECT, which uses radioactive material to image the brain.

But researchers at the University of Haifa and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa believe their study shows how the disease can be detected sooner, noninvasively and without radiation.

"Identifying the changes in handwriting could lead to an early diagnosis of the illness and neurological intervention at a critical moment," explained Prof. Sara Rosenblum of the university’s department of occupational therapy.

She reported that publication of results in the journal of the European Neurological Society aroused great interest at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement held last summer in Sydney, Australia.

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Via ISRAEL21c

Related articles: Health News, Parkinson's, Israel News, Handwriting, Science News
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