A hand wearing a blue glove holds a vial of blood.

Researchers at UCLA Health have developed a blood test that can accurately distinguish between Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy (MSA), two closely related neurological disorders. The test has a 90% accuracy rate and does not require invasive procedures or expensive imaging.

“Biomarkers with such high diagnostic power usually require an invasive lumbar puncture or costly brain imaging,” UCLA's Gal Bitan, PhD, told MedPage Today. “Our methodology, which achieves high diagnostic accuracy using a blood test, can become widely accessible to neurologists everywhere without requiring patients to visit major medical centers.”

Because Parkinson's disease and MSA have similar symptoms, the test could help prevent misdiagnosis.

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