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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:

Parkinson-like Symptoms Worsen with Long-Term Exposure to Manganese
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Welders exposed to fumes containing low levels of the metal manganese had a high rate of Parkinson-like symptoms, which progressed with increasing cumulative exposure to the metal, according to research published in the December 28 online edition of Neurology. The results make a case for better worker protection.

Experimental Drug Opens New Route to Slowing Parkinson’s Progression
Thursday, December 15, 2016

A new study in laboratory animals finds that an experimental drug developed for diabetes may hold promise for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Because the drug has already been tested for safety, clinical trials for its potential to treat Parkinson’s could begin within a year. The research appears in the December 7 edition of Science Translational Medicine.

Gut Bacteria Linked to Parkinson’s Symptoms
Friday, December 9, 2016

In studies with mice, researchers have found that changes in the microbiome — the bacteria living in the gut — may set off the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The results, published in the December 1 edition of Cell, suggest a new approach to PD therapies aimed at balancing the microbiome.

Computer Keyboard Interaction as an Indicator of Early Parkinson’s Disease
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Researchers have developed a new approach to early detection of Parkinson’s disease (PD) using a computer keyboard in non-clinical settings. They found that by measuring ‘key hold’ time — how long it takes to press and release a key on a standard QWERTY keyboard — it is possible to detect early symptoms of PD. The results were published in the October 5 online edition of Scientific Reports.

Cognitive Changes in Parkinson’s: A Complex Picture
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cognitive difficulties are among the most troubling and disabling non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Unfortunately, it is now recognized that they can also be very common as PD progresses. Some people experience mild changes even before a PD diagnosis; by 20 years after diagnosis, up to 80 percent of people with PD develop dementia.

Parkinson’s-Linked Genetic Mutations More Common With Deep Brain Stimulation
Monday, November 28, 2016

Among people with young-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD), a new study finds that those who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery were more likely to have a PD-linked genetic mutation than those who did not get DBS. The research represents a step forward in understanding how genetic mutations impact the symptoms and progression of PD, and, in turn, the benefits of DBS.

Bacteria in the Digestive Tract May Trigger Protein Clumping, the Hallmark of Parkinson’s
Sunday, November 27, 2016

In experiments with rats, scientists have shown that when nerve cells in the gut are exposed to certain bacteria, it may trigger protein-clumping similar to the clumping found in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The results suggest a possible way in which the protein clumping in PD might begin. The study appears in the October 6 online edition of Scientific Reports.

Researchers Identify Point-of-Entry for Toxins That Harm Brain Cells in Parkinson’s
Monday, November 14, 2016

In the September 30 edition of Science, researchers say they have discovered how toxic protein clumps enter brain cells in Parkinson’s disease (PD) — by unlocking a molecular “door” called LAG3. They also showed that preventing the protein clumps (alpha-synuclein) from entering through this door could slow or prevent PD-like symptoms in mice, suggesting new strategies for therapies.

A Genetic Abnormality Links Parkinson’s, Learning Disability and Schizophrenia
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A genetic mutation that is a risk factor for cardiac anomalies, schizophrenia and learning disability may also be associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD) at a young age, according to research reported in the May 2016 edition of Lancet Neurology. The mutation has other health consequences as well, and the study may have implications for the care of some people who develop PD younger than age 45.

Genetic Differences Linked to Faster Rate of Parkinson’s Progression and to Dementia
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Two studies find that mutations and variations in the GBA gene may be associated with more rapid progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and an increased risk for dementia. The studies, both of which build upon Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) supported research, appear in the August 29 online edition of JAMA Neurology and the October 3 online edition of Annals of Neurology.

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