A new University of Florida study suggests a promising brain-imaging technique has the potential to improve diagnoses for the millions of people with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Science Daily quotes the principal investigator David Vaillancourt: “The purpose of this study is to identify markers in the brain that differentiate movement disorders which have clinical symptoms that overlap, making [the disorders] difficult to distinguish”. The three-year study looked at 72 patients, each with a clinically defined movement disorder diagnosis. Using a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, the researchers successfully separated the patients into disorder groups with a high degree of accuracy.
The study is published in the May 14 edition of the on-line journal Movement Disorders.