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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.
New technology allows researchers to temporarily shut down brain area to better understand function

New technology allows researchers to temporarily shut down brain area to better understand function

Capitalizing on experimental genetic techniques, researchers at the California National Primate Research Center, or CNPRC, at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that temporarily turning off an area of the brain changes patterns of activity across much of the remaining brain. [More]
Cinnamon treatment turns poor-learning mice into good ones, research shows

Cinnamon treatment turns poor-learning mice into good ones, research shows

If Dr. Kalipada Pahan's research pans out, the standard advice for failing students might one day be: Study harder and eat your cinnamon! [More]
Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Clinic have received a grant of nearly $2.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support safety and quality tests of a potential stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease. [More]
Shared lifestyle and environment may contribute to risk of common diseases in families, study shows

Shared lifestyle and environment may contribute to risk of common diseases in families, study shows

Family history of disease may be as much the result of shared lifestyle and surroundings as inherited genes, research has shown. [More]
FDA approves scalpel-free brain surgery to treat essential tremor

FDA approves scalpel-free brain surgery to treat essential tremor

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first focused ultrasound device to treat essential tremor, the most common movement disorder, in patients who do not respond to medication. [More]
New virus-based method opens wide range of options to treat various diseases

New virus-based method opens wide range of options to treat various diseases

The ability to switch disease-causing genes on and off remains a dream for many physicians, research scientists and patients. [More]
Researchers discover novel neuroprotection strategies to slow progression of Parkinson's disease

Researchers discover novel neuroprotection strategies to slow progression of Parkinson's disease

Using a robust model for Parkinson's disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have discovered an interaction in neurons that contributes to Parkinson's disease, and they have shown that drugs now under development may block the process. [More]
New research shows how toxic Alzheimer's protein spreads through the brain

New research shows how toxic Alzheimer's protein spreads through the brain

A toxic Alzheimer's protein can spread through the brain--jumping from one neuron to another--via the extracellular space that surrounds the brain's neurons, suggests new research from Columbia University Medical Center. [More]
Study finds no increased risk for parkinsonism linked to use of gadolinium in MRIs

Study finds no increased risk for parkinsonism linked to use of gadolinium in MRIs

A new study from Lawson Health Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences has cast doubt on the clinical significance of brain deposits of gadolinium. [More]
Postmenopausal estrogen supplement may not affect memory of healthy women

Postmenopausal estrogen supplement may not affect memory of healthy women

Contrary to popular belief, taking estrogen after menopause may not affect the memory and thinking abilities of healthy women no matter when the treatment is started. [More]
Duke University study provides new mechanistic understanding of OCD

Duke University study provides new mechanistic understanding of OCD

A single chemical receptor in the brain is responsible for a range of symptoms in mice that are reminiscent of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), according to a Duke University study that appears online in the journal Biological Psychiatry. [More]
Findings offer renewed hope for speedy development curative medicines for people with toxoplasmosis

Findings offer renewed hope for speedy development curative medicines for people with toxoplasmosis

In the July 14 edition of Scientific Reports (Nature), 39 researchers from 14 leading institutions in the United States, United Kingdom and France suggest novel approaches that could hasten the development of better medications for people suffering from toxoplasmosis. [More]
Genes linked to Alzheimer's disease may show effects on the brain from childhood

Genes linked to Alzheimer's disease may show effects on the brain from childhood

A gene associated with Alzheimer's disease and recovery after brain injury may show its effects on the brain and thinking skills as early as childhood, according to a study published in the July 13, 2016, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
Scientists identify timing of major metabolic shift in developing neurons

Scientists identify timing of major metabolic shift in developing neurons

Our brains can survive only for a few minutes without oxygen. Salk Institute researchers have now identified the timing of a dramatic metabolic shift in developing neurons, which makes them become dependent on oxygen as a source of energy. [More]
Selfish mutant mtDNA exploits cellular defenses to cause many diseases

Selfish mutant mtDNA exploits cellular defenses to cause many diseases

Mitochondrial disorders are a chameleon-like set of diseases that take many different forms and vary widely from individual to individual. [More]
Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Two Northwestern University neuroscientists have identified the neurochemical signal likely missing in Parkinson's disease by being the first to discover two distinctly different kinds of neurons that deliver dopamine to an important brain region responsible for both movement and learning/reward behavior. [More]
Leukemia drug increases brain dopamine, lowers toxic proteins linked to Parkinson's or dementia

Leukemia drug increases brain dopamine, lowers toxic proteins linked to Parkinson's or dementia

A small phase I study provides molecular evidence that an FDA-approved drug for leukemia significantly increased brain dopamine and reduced toxic proteins linked to disease progression in patients with Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies. [More]
New study identifies four subtypes of human insulin producing beta cells involved in diabetes

New study identifies four subtypes of human insulin producing beta cells involved in diabetes

A new study led by nationally prominent stem cell scientist Markus Grompe, M.D., has determined the existence of at least four separate subtypes of human insulin producing beta cells that may be important in the understanding and treatment of diabetes. The findings were published online today in the journal Nature Communications. [More]
TBI with LOC linked to late-life neurodegeneration but not Alzheimer's disease

TBI with LOC linked to late-life neurodegeneration but not Alzheimer's disease

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) with a loss of consciousness (LOC) may be associated with later development of Parkinson's disease but not Alzheimer's disease or incident dementia, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Washington School of Medicine. [More]
Mussels inspire scientists to attach biologically active molecule to titanium surface

Mussels inspire scientists to attach biologically active molecule to titanium surface

Titanium is used medically in applications such as artificial joints and dental implants. While it is strong and is not harmful to tissues, the metal lacks some of the beneficial biological properties of natural tissues such as bones and natural teeth. [More]
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