Reading an article on the search for a Biomarker towards early diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease written by Rachel Jones in the 26 August 2010 edition of Nature; as a sufferer I tend to agree that such will only be determined through a battery of tests, set out over ‘a flexible period of time’, dependant upon the ‘possible speed of such in the disease’ for each individual ‘possible’ case.
Any such useful Biomarker can only be determined through patient response and a generalised mapping of data via accurate record from sufferers, being combined with the growing knowledge within the Medical Institutes on a global basis; towards determining environmental parallels and abnormalities.
This said, in my particular case in Parkinson’s (confirmed at the age of fifty), the most earliest possible indication that something was perhaps not quite right, was in the understanding of the smooth flow of nerve signals through the body showing up in the differing responses in my legs during my early teens. In that, it was clearly apparent and noticeable to me (through another lifting my legs independently by scooping up each foot in turn), that my right leg took far longer to achieve a fully relaxed state than that of my left leg. The leg lifting, was a part of Drama class, involving some good exercise in running around the school hall, before dropping to the floor into a totally relaxed state, as though one had been shot dead; with the limb lift and drop being a test marker, towards one’s playing, a convincing role.
With the knowledge that Parkinson’s usually effects one side of the body first, and given today's technology in scanning equipment, I feel sure that monitoring the time scales from muscle tension to the fully relaxed state of each limb, may provide a Biomarker towards spotting possible neurological malfunction in the very early stages; that may or may not develop into a fully blown neurological disorder problem as identified in Parkinson's or Multiple Sclerosis. Indeed, by recording any noticeable differences over a period of time during the academic years, along with any local Environmental or dietary issues (from chemicals used in the home to eating Broad beans during hormonal activity in development) may well assist practicalities of an individual’s overall diagnosis, determining relevant remedial and medicinal therapies, while also assisting in identifying the specific regional Environmental factors that cause reaction in persons susceptible to them, enabling both preventative care, bespoke treatments and potential towards the eventual cure.
Muscle readings recording the time duration's from the totally contracted state to the fully relaxed state, may of course vary given an individual’s lead and follow limb (determining their corresponding right-handedness or left-handedness). However, growing disproportionate readings identifying an increase in one ‘sideness’ (taken over a period of time) and or deterioration of muscular function, may well correspond to the situation I have experienced over the years; bearing in mind that such progressing neurological conditions are often seen to fluctuate with periods of remission and progression relevant to, general health, levels of stress and or trauma.
Of course I am far from being any sort of a medic, yet a common sense approach seems to spring from the history of my situation, while looking back at the pattern of the various involuntary leg movement (or lack in a smooth function) over thirty plus years before diagnosis of the condition.