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Science News

Parkinson’s Foundation researchers and other scientists worldwide make continual advances in understanding Parkinson’s disease (PD) with revolutionary research. We monitor it all in our effort to improving care and advance research toward a cure. Browse our collection here:

Faulty Mechanism for Protecting Brain Cells May Underlie Parkinson’s
Thursday, March 16, 2017

A mechanism that protects brain cells from the effects of aging appears to be weakened in Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to research in the November 22, 2016 edition of Nature Communications. The results suggest that this mechanism may underlie to brain cell loss in Parkinson’s, and points to a new therapeutic approach: boosting the brain’s own protective processes.

Nursing Education to Improve Hospital Care for Parkinson’s
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A new educational program for nurses prepares them to improve hospital care for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The program, developed by and with nurses and tools affiliated with the Parkinson’s Foundation, is described in the online March 3 edition of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing.

Gene for Red Hair May Link Parkinson’s and Melanoma
Thursday, March 9, 2017

A new study explored the mechanism of how a genetic variant that leads to red hair and fair skin, and increases the risk of melanoma among people with these traits, may also play a role in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The research was published in the January 21 online edition of Annals of Neurology.

Unraveling the Connection Between Excess Iron and Parkinson’s
Friday, March 3, 2017

A new study may answer a question that has long puzzled scientists: why does a rare gene mutation cause Parkinson’s disease (PD)? In a report published in the January 27 online edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers implicate a part of brain cells called the lysosome in the toxic build-up of iron. Their findings point to potential new therapy options as well.

Blood Test May Help Distinguish Parkinson’s from Similar Diseases
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Researchers have found that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have lower levels of a certain protein in their blood than people with similar diseases. The results suggest that testing for the protein might help doctors to accurately differentiate between PD and similar diseases early on. The study appears in the February 8 online edition of Neurology.

In Rare Inherited PD, Newly-Identified Gene May Impact Age of Diagnosis
Monday, February 6, 2017

In the past decade researchers have identified more than 20 genes linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, among people with the same exact same LRRK2 mutation, some develop Parkinson’s at different ages, and others do not develop the disease at all. According to a study published online in the Lancet Neurology on September 28, finds that variants in another gene DNM3, might explain this phenomenon.

The Effects of Physical Activity in Parkinson’s Disease: A Review
Monday, February 6, 2017

A meta-analysis of 106 research studies published over nearly 25 years is helping researchers to understand how physical activity may benefit people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Results of this analysis were published online in The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease on October 19.

Study Points Toward Diagnostic Test for Parkinson’s
Friday, January 20, 2017

Using a new technology, researchers were able to detect trace amounts of toxic alpha-synuclein protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but not in people without PD. Furthermore, the amount of the protein increased with severity of PD.

An App for Staying on Schedule with Parkinson’s Medications
Friday, January 20, 2017

A smartphone app helped people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to take medications on time and track symptoms, according to a recent clinical trial. The study appears in the January 9 online edition of npj Parkinson’s Disease.

New Support for Therapy that Reduces "Off" Time
Thursday, January 12, 2017

A new study finds that the experimental drug opicapone significantly reduces “off” time for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who experience fluctuations in the effectiveness of their levodopa medications. The results of this phase III clinicaltrial appear in the December 27, 2016, online edition of JAMA Neurology.

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