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Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder. It occurs when certain nerve cells (neurons) in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra die or become impaired. When approximately 80 percent of neurons are damaged, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease appear. Parkinson's disease affects 1 in 100 people over the age of 60, with the average age of onset being 60 years. The risk of developing Parkinson's disease increases with age. In the United States, it is estimated that 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's disease are diagnosed each year, with 1.5 million Americans currently living with the disease.
AAN urges for more research on use of medical marijuana for brain, nervous system disorders

AAN urges for more research on use of medical marijuana for brain, nervous system disorders

The American Academy of Neurology is calling for more research on the use of medical marijuana for brain, spine and nervous system disorders in a new position statement released by the AAN, the world's largest association of neurologists with more than 28,000 members. [More]
Migraine headache may double risk of nervous system condition that causes Bell's palsy

Migraine headache may double risk of nervous system condition that causes Bell's palsy

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
MU researcher developing nano-scale molecules to image, treat different diseases

MU researcher developing nano-scale molecules to image, treat different diseases

Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology, or the use of microscopic structures to diagnose, image, treat and prevent disease. Current problems in nanomedicine include understanding and anticipating the potentially toxic impact these nanostructures have on the body and the environment once they're released. [More]
Methamphetamine use may increase Parkinson's disease risk

Methamphetamine use may increase Parkinson's disease risk

In addition to incurring serious dental problems, memory loss and other physical and mental issues, methamphetamine users are three times more at risk for getting Parkinson's disease than non-illicit drug users, new research from the University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare shows. [More]
Novel technique to identify biological markers in brain development

Novel technique to identify biological markers in brain development

With a unique, multi-faceted approach, researchers at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development have quantified the effect of previously unidentified anomalies in genetic expression that determine how the human brain develops from its earliest stages. [More]
ARA 290 drug reduces neuropathic pain in type 2 diabetic patients

ARA 290 drug reduces neuropathic pain in type 2 diabetic patients

Molecular Medicine, a peer-reviewed biomedical journal published by the Feinstein Institute Press, published the results of a new study reporting clinically significant pain reduction in type 2 diabetic patients. In an exploratory study conducted by Araim Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company developing novel treatments for chronic diseases, investigators also observed improvements in metabolic control in patients administered ARA 290. [More]
Patients with Parkinson's disease have different microbiota in their intestines

Patients with Parkinson's disease have different microbiota in their intestines

Parkinson's disease sufferers have a different microbiota in their intestines than their healthy counterparts, according to a study conducted at the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital. Researchers are now trying to determine what the connection between intestinal microbes and Parkinson's disease is. [More]
IRCM researchers uncover mechanism that regulates dopamine levels in the brain

IRCM researchers uncover mechanism that regulates dopamine levels in the brain

Researchers in Montréal led by Jacques Drouin, D.Sc., uncovered a mechanism regulating dopamine levels in the brain by working on a mouse model of late onset Parkinson's disease. [More]
New study finds that poor sleep may lead to dementia

New study finds that poor sleep may lead to dementia

People who have sleep apnea or spend less time in deep sleep may be more likely to have changes in the brain that are associated with dementia, according to a new study published in the December 10, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
Report supports potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain OCD patients

Report supports potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain OCD patients

A recently published report in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry supports the potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). [More]
At-home test sniffs out prodromal Parkinson’s disease

At-home test sniffs out prodromal Parkinson’s disease

An at-home olfactory test helps to identify people with an increased risk of having dopamine transporter imaging indicative of early Parkinson’s disease, show data from the Parkinson Associated Risk Syndrome study. [More]

Clinical markers help identify PD patients with cholinergic deficits

Assessing patients for clinical markers of cholinergic system denervation is viable and can help identify suitable individuals for trials of new anticholinergic drugs, researchers believe. [More]
BUSM's Carmela Abraham receives 2014 Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium Award

BUSM's Carmela Abraham receives 2014 Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium Award

Carmela Abraham, PhD, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine, was one of six recipients of this year's Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium Award out of nearly 60 applicants. The grant was awarded to her for her work on multiple sclerosis and the role of the life extension protein Klotho in the limited repair of white matter in the disease. [More]
Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists may be safe for the heart

Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists may be safe for the heart

Non-ergot derived dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease may be safe for the heart, according to preliminary research presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 by Dr Hilal Erken Pamukcu, cardiologist at Ankara Diskapi Education and Research Hospital in Turkey. [More]
Prodromal symptoms precede PD by up to a decade

Prodromal symptoms precede PD by up to a decade

Many prodromal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear long before a clinical diagnosis is made, shows a large study of patients in primary care. [More]
Organovo, Yale collaborate to develop bioprinted tissues for surgical transplantation research

Organovo, Yale collaborate to develop bioprinted tissues for surgical transplantation research

Organovo Holdings, Inc., a three-dimensional biology company focused on delivering breakthrough 3D bioprinting technology, and Yale School of Medicine, Department of Surgery have formed a collaboration to develop bioprinted tissues for surgical transplantation research, made possible by a generous gift from the Methuselah Foundation. [More]
Researchers find way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss

Researchers find way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein. [More]
Alim Louis Benabid, Mahlon DeLong jointly win 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

Alim Louis Benabid, Mahlon DeLong jointly win 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

French neurosurgeon Alim Louis Benabid and American neurologist Mahlon DeLong were recently named winners of the 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for their roles in developing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson disease. [More]
Assessing patient's decision-making capacity

Assessing patient's decision-making capacity

Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. This is shown by a study conducted within the scope of the National Research Programme "End of Life" (NRP 67). The Central Ethics Committee of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences now aims to elaborate new assessment principles. [More]
Functional connectivity loss may underlie Parkinson’s cognitive decline

Functional connectivity loss may underlie Parkinson’s cognitive decline

Patients with Parkinson’s disease have deceases in functional connectivity over time and these correlate closely with cognitive decline, research shows. [More]