Author Archives: Marta Figueiredo PhD

3D Brain Organoids Capture Hallmarks ‘Only Seen in Patients’

Researchers developed “mini-brains” — midbrain-like organoids — that recapitulate for a first time two key Parkinson’s hallmarks in that organ: the formation of toxic protein clumps known as Lewy bodies and the loss of dopamine-producing neurons. A combination of two known Parkinson’s risk factors — a deficiency of the beta-glucocerebrosidase…

$1.8M Earmarked for Cutting-edge Parkinson’s Research

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has awarded $1.85 million to research projects focused on innovative tools and strategies to advance care and treatment of Parkinson’s disease for the 2021–2022 funding year. For the second year in a row, ADPA’s annual research funding included specialized grants to projects focused…

Preexisting Bipolar Disorder Worsens Parkinson’s Problems

A previous diagnosis of bipolar disorder negatively affects the course of Parkinson’s disease, and is associated with greater neuropsychiatric and cognitive problems, poorer treatment outcomes, and shorter survival, a study shows. Also, a greater proportion of Parkinson’s patients with preexisting bipolar disorder had a history of either condition in…

Sweet Marjoram Tea May Lessen Non-motor Symptoms

Daily consumption of sweet marjoram tea, in addition to standard antiparkinsonian medication, may help reduce non-motor symptoms and depression in people with Parkinson’s disease, a small study suggests. Notably, the one-month intervention, while safe, was found to have no significant effect on patients’ motor symptoms, even though they showed…

Study Examines Proteins’ Roles in Mitochondrial Recycling

PINK1 and Parkin — two proteins whose deficiency has been linked to early-onset Parkinson’s — are involved in the degradation and recycling of mitochondria in neurons, a study shows. While these proteins were known to contribute to mitochondrial recycling in other cell types, this study provides a closer look into mitochondria’s…

Dopamine Transporter Levels May Predict Parkinson’s Earlier

Lower levels of dopamine transporter protein in the striatum — a brain region affected significantly in Parkinson’s — may predict the development of the neurodegenerative disease up to eight years earlier in older adults carrying the most common genetic risk factor, a small study suggests. However, the observed variability…

Worse GI Symptoms Predict Anxiety, Depression, and Vice-versa

Worse gastrointestinal symptoms predict more severe anxiety and depression, and vice-versa, within the same year and in the following year in people with Parkinson’s disease, a study shows. This bidirectional link between gut and mental health suggests a potential cyclical relationship, in which gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms increase the risk…

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