Skin Test for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Shows Early Promise

 – February 24, 2015  –– 

A small, early study hints that a skin test may someday be able to help diagnose people with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Researchers found that skin biopsies can reveal elevated levels of abnormal proteins associated with the two disorders. The study is being released ahead of its presentation in April at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Washington, D.C. Experts said such a test would be welcome, but it's too early to confirm the usefulness of this skin-based method. They also note that studies presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. "Similar claims [for diagnostic tests] have been made for a decade or more, but none have held up to scrutiny or independent replication," said Samuel Gandy, MD, associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

- Dr. Samuel Gandy, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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