NPF's Statement on "Avian Influenza Strain Primes Brain for Parkinson's Disease

Release date: 8/10/2009

NPF's Statement on "Avian Influenza Strain" 8/10/09 Press Release:

"Dr. Smeyne has been working on the influenza virus H5N1 for the past few years and in this month's issue of PNAS he shows that this strain of virus seems to be related to inducing an animal form of Parkinson's disease. The findings are particularly interesting as they closely parallel a human model Parkinson's disease pathogenesis proposed recently by Braak. It is important for the public to know that this is a strain of the influenza virus that has never hit the United States, and is not easily transmitted from birds to humans, and therefore we want to be sure people do not panic when they read the news about it. We are hopeful that these findings, which were supported by a NPF grant, will help us toward the cause and cure of Parkinson's disease."

Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Adelaide Lackner Associate Professor of Neurology Movement Disorders Center, McKnight Brain Institute National Medical Director, National Parkinson Foundation

Avian Influenza Strain Primes Brain for Parkinson's Disease
PR Newswire (press release)
This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Parkinson's Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, ...