A recent Medscape discussion between Dr. Kathrin LaFaver, a neurologist in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Dr. Alberto Espay, endowed professor of neurology and the division chief and endowed chair of the Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Cincinnati, Ohio was focused on the highlights in Parkinson’s disease for 2023.
This enlightening discussion opens on the topic of biomarkers and the Syn-One Test. “… it is the first test that has a very high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease…” says Dr. Espay, who notes that it’s most useful in cases where there is diagnostic uncertainty. “This could end up changing how we approach diagnostic workup of these patients in a manner that could turn out to be quite relevant.” An early and accurate diagnosis helps clinicians and patients plan for the future, even if treatment options are currently limited. “I think this is the best test so far, and it’s minimally invasive,” he adds.
Drs. LaFaver and Espay go on to discuss another test that received attention in 2023, the seed amplification assay, and how it differs from the Syn-One Test. Dr. Espay explains that the Syn-One Test is quantitative, while seed amplification “ … only allows us to answer yes or no: Is there aggregated synuclein in this tissue I’m testing? It doesn’t tell us how much there is.”
Other highlights include the potential role of GLP-1 agonists in reducing the risk of Parkinson’s, continuous pump therapies for delivering levodopa and other medications, and the future of individualized treatments for Parkinson’s.