Medical Research Affected by the “Fiscal Cliff”
CBS Evening News
The “fiscal cliff” could mean cutbacks and layoffs in fields like medical research. One professor is already suffering a 10-percent cut as the National Institutes of Health prepares for the possibility of “fiscal cliff” budget cuts. Watch the full segment here .
NIH Launches Collaborative Effort to Find Biomarkers for Parkinson's
NIH Press Release
A new initiative aims to accelerate the search for biomarkers — changes in the body that can be used to predict, diagnose or monitor a disease — in Parkinson's disease, in part by improving collaboration among researchers and helping patients get involved in clinical studies. A lack of biomarkers for Parkinson's has been a major challenge for developing better treatments. The Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP) supports efforts to invent new technologies and analysis tools for biomarker discovery, to identify and validate biomarkers in patients, and to share biomarker data and resources across the Parkinson's community. The program is being launched by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. More… 
NIH Director Francis Collins: Medical Research at Risk
NIH is not alone in fretting over sequestration, of course. Virtually every domestic and national security function is facing across-the-board cuts if Congress doesn’t act, and agency heads throughout the federal government are trying to figure out where to cut. But scientists had already been fretting about the growth of funding for their medical research. NIH swallowed a 1.5 percent cut in 2011 after nearly a decade of incremental budget increases. Its funding has expanded at a slower pace since 2004 after surging from 1998 to 2003, when Congress nearly doubled the center’s budget. At the same time, inflation has been eating away at the center’s buying power, Collins says. “We have seen in the last 10 years basically an erosion of our buying power for medical research by about 20 percent, simply because the budget has been flat and inflation has been chewing away at that,” Collins said. More… 
Scientists Uncover Potential Drug Target to Block Cell Death in Parkinson's Disease
Oxidative stress is a primary villain in a host of diseases that range from cancer and heart failure to Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Now, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that blocking the interaction of a critical enzyme may counteract the destruction of neurons associated with these neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting a potential new target for drug development. More… 
Growth of Telehealth, Parkinson’s Treatment Pipeline Propels Great Lakes NeuroTech into New Markets
Cleveland-area patient monitoring company Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies is using the momentum it’s built in the clinical trials market to drive penetration of its device/software technology for assessing Parkinson’s disease symptoms other markets this year. The company’s FDA-cleared Kinesia technology platform is designed to give clinicians a quantitative way to assess the severity of motor-related symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. To use it, patients wear a motion sensor device on their finger and perform a series of motor tests prompted by accompanying web-based software. The sensor captures linear acceleration and angular velocity data and transmits it via Bluetooth to the software, which generates reports to help patients and clinicians track symptoms over time. More… 
Saliva Gland Test for Parkinson's Disease?
New research suggests that testing a portion of a person's saliva gland may be a way to diagnose Parkinson's disease. The study was released January 10 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013. "There is currently no diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease," said study author Charles Adler, MD, PhD, with the Mayo Clinic Arizona and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "We have previously shown in autopsies of Parkinson's patients that the abnormal proteins associated with Parkinson's are consistently found in the submandibular salivary glands, under the lower jaw, and this is the first study demonstrating the value of testing a portion of the saliva gland to diagnose a living person for Parkinson's disease. Making a diagnosis in living patients is a big step forward in our effort to understand and better treat patients." More…