Parkinson's in the Media

Path is Found for the Spread of Alzheimer’s
The New York Times
Alzheimer’s disease seems to spread like an infection from brain cell to brain cell, two new studies in mice have found.  But instead of viruses or bacteria, what is being spread is a distorted protein known as tau.  The surprising finding answers a longstanding question and has immediate implications for developing treatments, researchers said.  And they suspect that other degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s may spread in a similar way.  More…

Genetic Parkinson's Disease Brain Cells Made in Lab
BBC News
Scientists in the U.S. have successfully made human brain cells in the lab that are an exact replica of genetically caused Parkinson's disease.  The breakthrough means they can now see exactly how mutations in the parkin gene cause the disease in an estimated one in ten patients with Parkinson's.  And it offers a realistic model to test new treatments on -- a hurdle that has blighted research efforts until now.  The team told Nature Communications their work was a "game-changer."  More…

Tai Chi May Help Parkinson’s Patients Regain Balance
Tai Chi, the Chinese martial art involving slow and rhythmic movement, has been shown to benefit older people by maintaining balance and strength. Now, researchers have found that Tai Chi also helps patients who suffer from Parkinson's disease.  Leona Maricle was diagnosed with Parkinson's two years ago.  At the time, she was teaching math, and she says she had experienced the telltale tremors of Parkinson's for a number of years.  She learned how to cope.  More…

Few Parkinson's patients enroll in trials; Michael J. Fox Aims to Change That
When Linda Morgan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in October 2005, her doctor told her that her symptoms weren’t bad and instructed her to come back in a year.  Sit around and wait -- for a year?!  No thank you, thought Morgan, who felt like she needed to do something after getting the scary diagnosis.  Just a month later, she enrolled in a clinical trial -- and since then, she's participated in about 15.  More…

Acting Director Opens Up on NCATS’ Early Agenda
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Thomas Insel is only the acting director of NIH’s new translational science center.  In a Q&A interview with Science magazine’s ScienceInsider blog he made it clear he’s not interested in giving up his day job as director of the National Institute of Mental Health to run the fledgling National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).  Reading the interview also clarified some of NCATS’ early direction and focus, both how much things can be expected to change within NIH and how much things will stay the same.  The first impact of NCATS on NIH, according to Insel, may be a restructuring of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) initiative.  It encompasses some 60 biomedical institutions nationwide.  More…

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