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Science News

Parkinson’s Foundation researchers and other scientists worldwide make continual advances in understanding Parkinson’s disease (PD) with revolutionary research. We monitor it all in our effort to improving care and advance research toward a cure. Browse our collection here:

Aspirin Targets a Pathway to Cell Death in Parkinson’s Disease
Monday, December 21, 2015

A new laboratory study finds that salicylic acid, the substance that gives aspirin its medicinal effects, blocks a molecular process that leads to brain cell death in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. The results appear in the November 25 edition of PLOS ONE.

Decades-Old Exposure to Pesticide-Contaminated Milk May Be Associated with Early Parkinson’s Brain Changes
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In the early 1980s the pesticide heptachlor, which was used on pineapple crops in Hawaii, made its way into the local milk supply through contaminated cattle feed. A new study shows that upon autopsy, men who lived in Hawaii and who drank a lot of milk at that time, yet did not smoke, had fewer neurons in the area of the brain where cell loss occurs in Parkinson’s disease (PD), than men who drank less milk.

Spinal Fluid Test May Help Diagnose Parkinson’s and Predict Dementia Risk
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

According to a new study, the levels of three different proteins found in cerebrospinal fluid, when analyzed together, may be useful in diagnosing Parkinson’s disease (PD). This panel of test results also may help predict whether people with early-stage PD are likely to develop dementia. The results appear in the August 10 online edition of JAMA Neurology.

How Common is Cognitive Decline in Parkinson’s?
Friday, December 4, 2015

A new study finds that cognitive impairment is a frequent and rapidly progressing symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). About half of the participants who had PD for an average of five years and had normal cognition at the beginning of the study developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI) within six years – about 11 years after PD diagnosis. Those few who developed MCI progressed to dementia within five more years.

Rapamycin Prevents Mitochondrial Dysfunction and PD Symptoms in Mouse Model
Friday, November 13, 2015

Research published September 16 in the Journal of Neuroscience finds that the drug rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug already approved by the FDA for transplant patients, can protect brain cells and mitochondria, and ease movement symptoms in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Medication Update: FDA Says No Risk of Heart Disease with Entacapone Use in PD
Monday, October 26, 2015

Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced the results of its safety review of both Carbidopa/Levodopa/Entacapone (Stalevo®) and Entacapone (Comtan®) for use in Parkinson’s disease, finding that neither drug presents increased risk for adverse cardiovascular events. 

New Approach for GDNF as Parkinson’s Therapy
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

For two decades, the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community has followed the development of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) as a potential treatment for the disease. GDNF is a naturally occurring human protein that nourishes and promotes growth of dopamine neurons, the brain cells damaged and lost in PD.

Everyday Physical Activity Helps Parkinson’s Movement Symptoms
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New research finds that participating in daily physical activities such as doing the dishes and folding laundry — rather than being sedentary — may help to ease some movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Among the small group of study participants, people who moved around on a daily basis for such non-exercise activities had less severe PD motor symptoms, even when accounting for PD progression as seen on brain scans.

Algorithm Helps Scientists Identify People with Parkinson’s Disease
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Researchers have developed a new statistical model that may help to distinguish people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) from those without the disease by analyzing risk factors rather than by measuring movement symptoms. Although the model is not yet accurate enough to be used in the doctor’s office, the hope is that someday this type of approach will help to diagnose people earlier in the course of Parkinson’s disease.

Could Wearable Technology Help People With Parkinson’s?
Friday, September 25, 2015

Pedometers and activity trackers are popular among people who want to lose weight or just stay in shape. Could similar devices help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) monitor their symptoms, and receive more personalized medical care?

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