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Your Weekly Parkinson's News Update for the Week of 10.15.18

Monday October 15, 2018
New Transgenic Model of Parkinson's Illuminates Its Biology
In the brain, Parkinson's is marked by the accumulation of the protein, α-synuclein (αS), into clumps known as Lewy bodies. aS diminish neural health. Previous research suggests that abnormal αS can alter cell membrane function and lead to cell death. Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a unique mouse model to induce Parkinson's-like αS aggregation, leading to resting tremor and abnormal movement control. This mouse model responds to L-DOPA, similarly to people with Parkinson's.
Exercise Can Raise BDNF Levels, Alleviate Depression
in people with Parkinson's
Parkinson's News Today
A systematic review study revealed that levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)—a protein important in promoting the survival of dopaminergic neurons—are abnormally low in patients with Parkinson’s, regardless of whether these patients also have depression, a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson's.
The study also showed that exercise can increase BDNF levels in people with Parkinson's, highlighting exercise’s potential not only to treat depression, but also motor symptoms typically associated with Parkinson’s.
Those with Parkinson's are Using Boxing to Fight Back
Chicago Tribune
Dr. Gary Skaletsky was skeptical when he first heard of Rock Steady Boxing. But he learned that the techniques used in boxing “counter punch” can improve the symptoms in those with Parkinson's by improving agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, eye-hand coordination, footwork and overall strength, not to mention cardio-vascular function that in turn allows more oxygen into their lungs which helps with voice projection.
“Cells attacked by Parkinson’s do not regenerate,” said Skaletsky. “But you have billions of cells in your brain, which means a new circuit can take over those functions and compensate for those cells that were lost.”