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With AI, our words will be a window into our mental health

Thursday February 16, 2017

In five years, what we say and write will be used as indicators of our mental health and physical wellbeing. Patterns in our speech and writing analyzed by new cognitive systems will provide tell-tale signs of early-stage developmental disorders, mental illness and degenerative neurological diseases that can help doctors and patients better predict, monitor and track these conditions.

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Your Brain's Got Rhythm

Tuesday February 14, 2017

A new study reveals some brain systems in a dish, dubbed circuitoids, exhibit coordinated and spontaneous rhythmic activity that can drive repetitive movements.

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Mitochondrial lipids as potential targets in early onset PD

Friday February 10, 2017

A team of researchers has identified an underlying mechanism in early onset Parkinson’s. Using flies, mice and patient cells, the team focused on cardiolipin, a fat unique to cells’ mitochondria, organelles that produce energy. They demonstrated that reducing the effects of the protein FASN influences the mitochondria, leading to increased cardiolipin levels and reduced Parkinson’s symptoms. These results could pave the way to therapies for Parkinson’s disease that target lipids.

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Is it Parkinson's or something else? Blood test might help

Thursday February 09, 2017

Measuring a particular blood protein might help doctors easily distinguish Parkinson’s disease from some similar disorders, a new study suggests.

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Positive Top-Line Results for Inhalable Version of PD Drug in SPAN-PD Trial

Thursday February 09, 2017

CVT-301 is an inhalable version of the oral drug levodopa, commonly used to treat PD symptoms. The new formulation has been investigated as a treatment for the re-emergence of Parkinson's symptoms in so-called "off periods" in patients already taking an oral carbidopa-levodopa regimen, noted the company.

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Lost in translation: Parkinson’s disease research undercut by study design

Thursday February 09, 2017

In a review of animal studies of Parkinson’s disease therapies, Yale researchers identified trends that may contribute to the lack of success in human clinical trials. Their finding provides insight to investigators who seek new therapies to slow the progression of the disease.

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Prion Test For Rare, Fatal Brain Disease Helps Families Cope

Monday February 06, 2017

The test, developed a few years ago and still available via only a few laboratories, harnesses the bad protein's ability to induce normal, neighboring proteins to take on its twisted form. The test takes about 90 hours and involves getting a sample of spinal fluid, shaking it up with normal proteins and waiting to see if the normal proteins misfold.

... Alison Green, a biochemist at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K., is now working on a modified version of the test that has been shown capable of detecting Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia.

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Brain mapping technique reveals circuitry of PD tremors

Friday February 03, 2017

The new Stanford technique probes the neural pathways that cause these tremors, and also provides a way to map and troubleshoot other circuits in the brain.

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Researchers find chemical link between two problem proteins that cause Parkinson's disease

Thursday February 02, 2017

Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinson's disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link. A report on their discovery appears in the Jan. 24 issue of Cell Reports.

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Researchers shed light on basis of Parkinson’s disease and other ‘synucleinopathies’

Friday January 27, 2017

Parkinson's disease (PD) and other "synucleinopathies" are known to be linked to the misfolding of alpha-synuclein protein in neurons. Less clear is how this misfolding relates to the growing number of genes implicated in PD through analysis of human genetics. In two studies published in the advance online edition of Cell Systems, researchers affiliated with Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) explain how they used a suite of novel biological and computational methods to shed light on the question.

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