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Om mani padme hum

Checking levels of dopamine

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Is it possible to monitor dopamine levels in people who haven't already developed symptoms of Parkinson's? Would it be worth starting up a scanning program for people with a family history of Parkinson's Disease? Has research ever been done into the effects of giving people who have reduced levels of dopamine L-DOPA before they develop symptoms?

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Researchers have monitored blood levels of dopamine for many trials in the past. It is hard to do, labor intensive, expensive, and it is not clear that outside of specific research questions it will have clinical utility.

 

The idea of developing a blood test for Parkinson's disease, especially those at risk is an excellent one and many teams around the world are working on this issue. If you check out my What's Hot column at the mainpage www.parkinson.org you will see a recent column on this topic.

 

Excellent question!

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