February 08, 2016
Medscape Medical News asked Michael S. Okun, MD, professor and chair, neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, and national medical director, National Parkinson Foundation, to comment on the study. “The idea of developing a simple test to diagnose early Parkinson’s disease is not only appealing, but it will be critically important to the field,” said Dr Okun.
That two of the controls in the study had a positive biopsy “raises the important question about the diagnostic accuracy of the test,” said Dr Okun. On the other hand, this finding “also raises the intriguing possibility that the authors may have uncovered prodromal Parkinson’s disease.”
Although the results are “intriguing,” Dr Okun said they “don’t suggest that in its current form a submandibular biopsy will become the gold standard for early Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.” However, he added that improvements on the technique “may change this status in the near future.”
The study was funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Mov Disord. Published online January 22, 2016.