A group of experts working under the umbrella of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), have developed a new tool for healthcare professionals that they hope will mark a significant advancement in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, especially in its early stages. The results of their study, published in the journal Movement Disorders, could also have a major impact on the quality of research on Parkinson’s disease.

Currently, diagnosis of PD can only be established through an analysis of medical history and a neurological examination by a clinician with expertise in movement disorders — no objective test for the disease exists. As the symptoms of PD often resemble those of other neurological disorders, the rate of misdiagnosis can be as high as 25%, which causes distress in patients. It also creates a challenge for researchers as the data collected in clinical studies can become compromised by misdiagnosis in their pool of subjects.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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