Author Archives: Margarida Azevedo, MSc

Common Gene Variation May Predict Parkinson’s Severity and Progression, Study Reports

Researchers found a genetic variation, known as the GG genotype, that identifies those Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients more likely to have slower disease progression — evidenced through tremors — and lower levels of alpha-synuclein, a protein linked to the disease. The findings have implications in disease diagnosis and treatment strategies, and were recently presented…

3-D ‘Scaffolds’ Supporting Healthy Neurons Offer New Stem Cell-Treatment Approach for Parkinson’s

Rutgers and Stanford University researchers have developed 3-D “scaffolds,” or fibers, that can support healthy and high-functioning human neurons derived from adult stem cells, which can be transplanted to the brain to replace diseased neurons. The technology represents a possible new therapeutic strategy for numerous neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple…

Dopamine, a Target of Parkinson’s Disease, Found to Play Key Role in Vocal Learning

Emory University researchers, investigating the role of dopamine in the regulation of vocal learning through auditory feedback, observed that reducing this neurotransmitter in a specific brain area, the basal ganglia, considerably impairs learning. The study, in songbirds called Bengalese finches, further illuminate the role of dopamine in vocal behavior, and is relevant to Parkinson’s disease,…

Drugs Like Metformin May Mimic Benefits of Strict Diet in Parkinson’s Patients

Researchers have discovered the molecular mechanisms behind calorie restriction’s neuroprotective effect in Parkinson’s disease, and propose a new therapeutic approach that uses existing drugs to reproduce the effects demonstrated in an animal model of the disease. The study by Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute scientists, “Ghrelin-AMPK Signaling Mediates the Neuroprotective…

Serious Studies Needed into Role of Microbes in Alzheimer’s and, Potentially, Parkinson’s, Researchers Say

In an editorial published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists and clinicians working in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) voiced concern over largely ignored research indicating that certain microbes — namely, the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), Chlamydia pneumoniae, and several types of spirochaete — might be involved in Alzheimer’s pathogenesis. The…

Researchers of Parkinson’s, Other Neurological Diseases Say ‘Mini-Brains’ May Be Effective in Testing New Drugs

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed “mini-brains” that may present a more accurate and effective way of testing new drugs for many neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. These human cell-derived structures, which represent an existing new alternative to animal testing, were recently discussed in…

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