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New test makes Parkinson's-like disorder of middle age detectable in young adulthood

The very earliest signs of a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder, in which physical symptoms are not apparent until the fifth decade of life, are detectable in individuals as young as 30 years old using a new, sophisticated type of neuroimaging, researchers have found. People with the condition -- fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) -- experience tremors, poor balance, cognitive impairments and Parkinsonism. The genetic condition results from a mutation in the fragile X mental retardation gene (FMR1).
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