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This simple spiral drawing test may detect Parkinson's disease: Researchers

Certain symptoms include rigidity, which interferes with patient's ability to write or sketch

IANS  |  Sydney 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

A test that involves drawing a spiral on a sheet of paper could be used to diagnose people at risk of developing Parkinson's disease, Australian researchers have found.

Parkinson's is a that causes shaking, and difficulty with

Certain that appear early in Parkinson's, such as rigidity, can interfere with a patient's ability to write or sketch, thus contributing to the of the

The researchers developed specialised automated electronic system that measured writing speeds, pen pressures and produced the Composite Index of Speed and Pen-pressure (CISP) score in Parkinson's -- all three measurements clearly indicated whether a participant had Parkinson's or not.

"Our aim was to develop an affordable and automated electronic system for early-stage of Parkinson's disease, which could be used easily by a community doctor or nursing staff," said Poonam Zham, from RMIT University in Melbourne.

In the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, the team used the system to measure pen speed and pressure during a simple spiral sketching task in a sample of healthy volunteers and Parkinson's with different levels of severity.

While pen speed and pressure alone were not sufficient to measure the severity between with different levels of Parkinson's, the new system with CISP score could tell whether the had level 1 or level 3 Parkinson's.

"The system can automatically provide accurate Parkinson's and could also be used by community to monitor the effect of on the disease," Zham said.

"This simple device can be used by community for routine of their every few years after the are above middle-age."

First Published: Fri, September 08 2017. 04:19 IST