Using a breath test for rapid diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
Co-funded by Parkinson’s UK
Professor Roger Barker, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
Professor Hossam Haick, Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
One in 500 people in the UK have Parkinson’s, which can leave people struggling to walk, speak and sleep, and has no cure.
There are 127,000 people in the UK with the condition, and an estimated 7.5 million worldwide.
Breath tests have been used to diagnose cancer, with dogs even being able to sniff out the disease, but this is the first time scientists have looked at what someone’s breath could tell them about whether they have Parkinson’s.
The collaboration between Prof Barker and Prof Haick will study around 200 people and see if just by looking at their breath they can determine which have Parkinson’s. The scientists have already shown in a smaller study of 57 people that breath alone could differentiate people with Parkinson’s and healthy individuals.