Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in particular is a profoundly life changing condition and once diagnosis occurs, this is typically at a relatively late stage into the disease process. Therefore, a shift to early screening, which means several decades before the onset of the typical manifestation of the disease, will be an important step forward for the patient.
A promising diagnostic aid and screening tool to answer this purpose is represented by breath and exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis. In fact, human exhaled breath contains several thousand VOCs that vary in abundance and number in correlation with the physiological status. The exhaled VOCs reflect the metabolism, including the neuronal ones, in healthy and pathological conditions. A growing number of studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of VOCs analysis in identifying pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, offering future potential as cost-effective, fast and reliable biomarkers for AD and PD.
- AD affects over 26 million people worldwide today.
- PD currently prevails in 1.6% of the world population.
The increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, as the population ages, causes a growing challenge for patients, caregivers, clinicians and society.