A new, non-invasive way to track the progression of Parkinson’s disease could help evaluate experimental treatments to slow or stop the disease’s progression.
University of Florida researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to reveal areas where Parkinson’s disease and related conditions cause progressive decline in brain activity.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was published in the journal Neurology.
While current treatments focus on controlling symptoms, biomarkers provide a quantifiable way to measure how medications address not just symptoms, but the neurological changes behind them.
Previous studies have used imaging techniques that require the injection of a drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier.
“Our technique does not rely upon the injection of a drug. Not only is it non-invasive, it’s much less expensive,” said David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., a professor in UF’s Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and the study’s senior author.