Parkinson’s disease is difficult to diagnose, especially in its early stages. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology suggests that testing caffeine levels of individuals could in fact help in diagnosing the presence of Parkinson’s disease in its early stages. Prior evidence shows that high caffeine levels could alleviate the possibility of Parkinson’s diseases. The researchers found that the low level of caffeine in the blood was a characteristic of people in their early stages of the diseases. However, the blood caffeine level of prolonged sufferers remained normal.
Methodology Employed by Researchers
The research tested the blood caffeine levels of 108 people of the same age and in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Another group of 31 people who did not have Parkinson’s were also tested along the same parameter. Prior to testing the caffeine levels, each of the two groups of people were administered the same amount of caffeine at the same time. The test results showed that the people with Parkinson’s still had significantly low caffeine levels as compared to people without the disease. The test also studied 11 byproducts produced in the body after metabolizing caffeine to find that only 9 were produced in the people with Parkinson’s.
Limitations of the Research
Although the results of the study are an important focal point to conduct further research in this domain, the limitations of the study make the results dicey. Primarily, people with severe Parkinson’s were excluded from the study which blurs the relationship between caffeine and severity levels of the disease. Moreover, the people of the sample suffering from Parkinson’s were on medication which could have affected test results.