Purpose of review
This review enumerates recent developments in the early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, with an emphasis on detection of preclinical Parkinson's disease.
Several clinical, laboratory, and imaging tests are now being investigated as potential early markers of Parkinson's disease. These include various nonmotor features that predate the motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease, including sleep abnormalities, neurobehavioral symptoms, and olfactory dysfunction. Tests of the autonomic nervous system, such as cardiac functional imaging, allow for a measure of cardiac sympathetic denervation. Cerebrospinal fluid and serum tests, including α-synuclein and DJ-1, are being developed and refined. Various imaging modalities have contributed to the diagnostic armamentarium in Parkinson's disease, including transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, radiolabeled tracer imaging, and magnetic resonance imaging. Early Parkinson's disease detection will pave the way for major advances in disease modifying therapies.
Various diagnostic modalities hold promise for the early and preclinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. It is likely that the future diagnosis of Parkinson's disease will rely on a combination of clinical, laboratory, imaging, and genetic data.