New Parkinson Disease Research

The Parkinson’s Center is a collaborative group of scientists with different backgrounds but one common goal: to help people living with this disease improve their quality of life. The researchers’ strong collaborative work style is key to the success of their research. One of Sortwell’s projects involves a new form of deep brain stimulation that may be used to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson disease and slow the disease’s progression. Another study focuses on using undifferentiated stem cells to combat neurodegeneration. And finally, Lipton will coordinate the study of neurochemical, protein, and gene expression.

By examining the way Parkinson’s disease patients’ brains process the protein alpha-synuclein, researchers can better understand the disease’s progression. The accumulation of this protein in the brain leads to the death of neurons. The researchers have found that copper may also play a role in this disease.

The researchers say their findings are exciting because they’re providing a new tool for scientists to study the disease. This tool enables scientists to create induced pluripotent stem cells from a patient’s own cells, which could be useful in the future treatment of Parkinson’s. They hope the therapy can improve a patient’s quality of life by slowing the progression of the disease and stimulating the regeneration of damaged brain circuitry.

Another goal of the Burke lab is to better identify early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This is crucial because earlier diagnosis could lead to better treatment. While there is no specific test to diagnose the disease, the researchers hope to identify biomarkers that can identify early stages and patients at risk for the disease.

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