Is that important? One of the messages I heard several times at the World Parkinson Congress in Montreal earlier this month was that – by the time most of us receive our PD diagnoses – most of the damage to our dopamine-producing cells has already occurred. From that point forward, we’re pretty much left with the messy business of damage control.
If PWPs can learn what’s happening in their bodies sooner – before other symptoms like tremor or rigidity occur… and before the dopamine production machinery is effectively compromised – the likelihood of prolonged normal function is increased. What’s not to like about that?
How the Pen Works
MANUS Director Dr Rutger Zietsma said:
The pen is a unique piece of medical technology that links ten years experimentation with sensor systems and development of data analysis methods with the key features of Parkinson’s. It’s fantastic to see all our resources in place to finalise the product, after having progressed from initial research through proof of concept stages for the diagnostic application, which resulted in several prototypes and successful trials.Reps from MANUS report “compelling results” from five years of exploratory trials. Before the company officially markets the pen, it will undergo a final clinical validation using “gold standard” PD DaTScan technology, which highlights blood dopamine levels. Of course, patients could just get a DaTScan, but it’s expensive, requires specialist training, and can be unpleasant for patients. MANUS expects the pen alone to provide similar results, but more simply, and much more cheaply.
Said PD specialist Professor Richard Walker, who is working with MANUS on the project:
Having such a pen means we can hopefully make a diagnosis of Parkinson’s earlier and in those people with atypical symptoms and signs. Some people may not have Parkinson’s and so diagnosing correctly will avoid inappropriate drug treatment.I find this new development – like so many others – exciting, even if it’s way too late to help me. Today I'd have trouble even holding the fat pen!