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According to a recent study, brains scans using positron emission tomography (PET) technology can help diagnose with high accuracy which type of Parkinson's-related disease a person has.
The study found that PET scans allowed doctors to identify whether a patient had idiopathic Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy or progressive supranuclear palsy, three variations of Parkinson's disease.
Researchers believe that early diagnosis is essential in recommending the appropriate treatment and placing patients in the proper drug trials, according to Medical News Today.
"Automated image-based classification has high specificity in distinguishing between Parkinsonism disorders and could help in selecting treatment for early stage patients and identifying participants for clinical trials," said the authors of the study.
Parkinson's disease expert Angelo Antonini added, "The clinical and research relevance of these findings should not be underestimated. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying drug research is intensifying and results mostly rely on accurate early diagnosis."
The next step for researchers is to conduct blinded imaging studies to a larger validation group in order to establish the accuracy of the procedure.
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