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Your Weekly Parkinson's News Update for the Week of 2.18.19

Monday February 18, 2019
Study Uncovers Neural Roots of Parkinson's (VIDEO)
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) graduate scientists have gained new insight into the abnormal brain activity underlying Parkinson's. In a mouse model, the scientists observed that one group of neurons in a particular brain region--the striatum-fire in sync and dominate the overall activity of that region. When striatal neurons are stimulated continuously, they exhibit this abnormal behavior. By stimulating the neurons in precise pulses, the researchers observed that the neurons returned to their normal activity pattern, with groups of cells firing in turn.
Patient-Derived Neurons Show Promise
as Model for Parkinson’s Research, Study Finds
Parkinson's News Today
Stem cell-derived neurons from people with familial forms of Parkinson’s may be used as a valuable model to screen and develop novel therapies for this disease, according to a study.
"While most Parkinson’s cases are sporadic, approximately 10% of them are caused by mutations in the PARK1, PARK2,and PARK6 genes. PARK2 and PARK6 are known to be involved in stress responses and molecular equilibrium within mitochondria (considered the power generators of cells)."
Can We Repair the Brain? The Promise of Stem Cell
Technologies for Treating Parkinson's
Medical News Today
"We are in desperate need of a better way of helping people with Parkinson's. It is on the increase worldwide. There is still no cure, and medications only go part way to fully treat incoordination and movement problems," explained co-authors of this study.
"If successful, using stem cells as a source of transplantable dopamine-producing nerve cells could revolutionize care of the Parkinson's patient in the future. A single surgery could potentially provide a transplant that would last throughout a patient's lifespan, reducing or altogether avoiding the need for dopamine-based medications."