A test consisting of drawing a spiral on a piece of paper could be used to diagnose early Parkinson's disease.

Australian researchers have tested software that measures the writing speed and the stylus print on the page.

Both are useful for detecting the disease that causes eradication and muscle stiffness.

The Melbourne team said the test could be used by the house doctors to screen their patients after middle age and monitor the effects of treatments.

The study, published in Frontiers of Neurology, involved 55 people - 27 had Parkinson's disease and 28 had none.

The speed of writing and printing the pen, while the sketch is lower in patients with Parkinson's disease, especially in a severe form of the disease.

In the study, a tablet took with special software measurements during the drawing test and could distinguish these with the disease and how hard it was.

Poonam Zham, a student at RMIT University, said, "Our goal was to develop an affordable and automated electronic system for the early detection of Parkinson's disease that could be easily used by a community doctor or a nurse."

The system combines the speed and pressure of the pen in a single measurement, indicating the severity of the disease.

David Dexter, Assistant Research Director at Parkinson's UK, said that current tests for the disease could not accurately measure someone's health.

"This may be the ability to develop the right people for clinical research, which is important to develop new and better treatments for Parkinson's disease.

"This new test could provide a more accurate assessment by measuring a broader range of characteristics that are likely to be affected by Parkinson's disease, such as coordination, pressure, speed, and cognitive function."

He added that the test could be a "springboard" for better clinical trials for Parkinson's disease.



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