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Parkinson's Diagnosis Made By Checking Caffeine Levels In The Blood

Parkinson's can be diagnosed by checking caffeine levels in the blood. Read full report here.

Parkinson's Diagnosis Made By Checking Caffeine Levels In The Blood

People who were diagnosed with Parkinson's had lower caffeine levels in their blood

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Parkinson's diagnosis is now possible by checking caffeine levels
  2. People diagnosed with Parkinson's had lower caffeine level in their blood
  3. This was not affected by their caffeine consumption

A new research shows that Parkinson's diagnosis is now possible by checking caffeine levels in the blood. Results of this study were published on 3rd January 2018 and said that people who were diagnosed with Parkinson's had lower caffeine levels in their blood as compared to the rest. This was not affected by the amount of caffeine consumed by any individual. This study included 108 people who had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for over 6 years and 31 others who were not affected by the disease.

All these participants were of the same age group. Their blood was checked for caffeine levels and other by products produced by the body while metabolizing caffeine. Participants were also checked for gene mutations affecting caffeine metabolism.

"Previous studies have shown a link between caffeine and a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, but we haven't known much about how caffeine metabolises within the people with the disease", said study author Shinji Saiki, MD, PhD, of the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.


David G Munoz from the University of Toronto, Canada, was the author of an editorial which accompanied this study. It said that people who were at a more severe stage of Parkinson's had low levels of caffeine in their blood. This meant that the levels drooped at early stages of the disease.

"If these results can be confirmed, they would point to an easy test for early diagnosis of Parkinson's, possibly even before symptoms are appearing", Munoz said, adding, "This is important because Parkinson's disease is difficult to diagnose, especially at the early stages."

The coffee consumption for the groups was monitored to the same amount with an average equivalent of about two cups of coffee per day. However, the people with Parkinson's had lower caffeine and 11 by-product levels in their blood. The caffeine level was an average of 79 picomoles per 10 microlitres for people without Parkinson's disease, compared to 24 picomoles per 10 microlitres for people with the disease. For one of the by-products, the level was below the amount that could be detected in more than 50 per cent of the people with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers found that this test could be used for identifying people suffering from this disease. The score was 0.98 where the score 1 meant that the cases had been identified the right way.

In genetic analysis, they found that there were no differences in caffeine-related genes between the two groups.

However, there was one limitation of this study. People who were at a severe stage of the disease were not included. This affected its ability for proper detection of an association between caffeine levels and Parkinson's disease.

Munoz also noted that all of the people with Parkinson's were taking Parkinson's medication and it's possible that these drugs could affect the metabolism of caffeine.

The research was published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 



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