Experts believe that a simple breath test could help doctors detect and diagnose Parkinson’s disease. The test looks for a unique signature of chemicals in exhaled breath.

Small studies in volunteers have begun and early findings suggest the test can identify those with the debilitating brain condition. Larger trials are now planned to see if it could truly be a useful test, particularly for picking up Parkinson’s in its earliest stages.

Currently, no test can conclusively show that a person has Parkinson’s. Instead, doctors reach a diagnosis based on a person’s symptoms and test results — such as brain scans to rule out other diseases.

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