News

African Ancestry Seen to Affect Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number

People of African ancestry in South Africa with Parkinson’s disease have more copies of mitochondrial DNA within their cells than do people of similar ancestry without the condition, a study discovered. These findings contrast with studies in patients of Asian and European ancestry, who have fewer copy numbers than…

High RAS Antibody Levels May Drive Disease, But Medicines Exist

Antibodies against certain components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which helps to control blood pressure, are present at higher levels in people with Parkinson’s than in those without the disease and may drive progression, a study found. These elevated levels of autoantibodies — which make nerve cells more vulnerable…

Speech Problems Evident in Vocal Tract Length Might ID Parkinson’s

Analyses that estimate the length of a person’s vocal tract, which involves controlling muscles used in speech, could help to identify Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study. “The standard clinical method for classifying parkinsonian voice is by perceptual evaluation, which however is subjective,” the researchers wrote. “Computerized voice analysis…

Changes in Brain Architecture Tied To Poor Bimanual Coordination

Small-scale, or microstructural, brain alterations observed on the MRIs of people with Parkinson’s disease were associated with worse bimanual coordination, a type of complex movement, a study found. “[D]istinct changes in microstructure cause an impediment of structures involved in attention, working memory, executive function, motor planning, motor control, and…

Gut Microbiome of Patients Favors Inflammation, Study Suggests

People with Parkinson’s disease appear to have a gut microbiome — the population of microorganisms living in the intestines — that is shifted toward a pro-inflammatory state, a small study suggests. Looking particularly at a pro-inflammatory gut bacterial metabolite called trimethylamine (TMA), its researchers found significantly higher…

Study Planned to Assess Severity of Speech Symptoms

The healthcare technology company Koneksa and Northwestern University plan to begin recruiting patients in the third quarter of this year for a study aimed at measuring the severity of vocal abnormalities that can occur in Parkinson’s disease. The clinical trial, which is expected to be completed in 2024, will…