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Deep Brain Stimulation Device That Can Self-Tune Show Promise in Small Parkinson’s Study

A new and experimental deep brain stimulation (DBS) system uses feedback from the brain to fine-tune its signaling in response to signs of dyskinesia, potentially offering a more refined way to ease motor problems in Parkinson’s patients, a small feasibility study reports. The research, “Adaptive deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease using motor cortex sensing,” was published in the Journal of Neural Engineering. Larger…

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Parkinson’s Disease Shares Brainwave Abnormalities with Other Neurological Disorders, Study Finds

An abnormal brain activity pattern could be a common link between Parkinson’s disease, neuropathic pain, tinnitus, and depression, an international research team suggests. The brainwave abnormality is similar in all these disorders but occurs in different regions of the brain. This discovery could lead to therapies that target all four conditions, the investigators said. Findings were published in the study, “Thalamocortical dysrhythmia…

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Synaptic Vesicle Defect Leads to Neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s, Study Suggests

Impaired intake of neurotransmitters leads to accumulation of toxic dopamine and neurodegeneration in patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. The study, “LRRK2 phosphorylation of auxilin mediates synaptic defects in dopaminergic neurons from patients with Parkinson’s disease,” appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Parkinson’s is characterized by a substantial loss of…

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Certain Genetic Variants Linked to Risk of Compulsive Behaviors in Parkinson’s Patients, Study Reports

Mutations in four specific genes may help to identify those Parkinson’s patients at risk of developing the addictive behaviors known as impulse control disorders, researchers report. Their study, “Dopaminergic and Opioid Pathways Associated with Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease,” was published in Frontiers in Neurology. People with Parkinson’s are more likely than others — at a threefold higher risk, in fact —…

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Low-level Exposure to Pesticides Damages Cells in Ways That Might Lead to Parkinson’s, Study Reports

Even low-level exposure to certain pesticides disrupts cells in a way that mimics the effects of mutations linked Parkinson’s disease — raising a likelihood of the disease developing in people predisposed to it, a new study reports. These findings may also explain why people living near agricultural areas are seen to be at greater risk of developing Parkinson’s, leading the study’s researchers…

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Facing My Fear of Death with Hope

Necrophobia: The fear of death or dead things. Thanatophobia: The fear of dying. Everyone, at some point in their lives, thinks about death and gets a little nervous, if not downright scared. It may not be death that people fear so much as the prologue of suffering they may have to endure. For example, I don’t fear the actual moment…

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Patients with IBD at Increased Risk of Parkinson’s, ‘Real Life’ Study Suggests

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests. The research, “Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a Danish nationwide cohort study 1977–2014,” was published in the journal Gut. Inflammation plays a key role in the development of Parkinson’s and multiple system atrophy (MSA), two conditions that belong…

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Dual-Target Compounds Could Lead to Single and More Effective Therapy for Parkinson’s, Study Reports

Pharmacologic compounds that can act on two target molecules show promise as potential therapies for Parkinson’s disease, according to a study that details a new way of finding such compounds. The study, “Docking screens for dual inhibitors of disparate drug targets for Parkinson’s disease,” was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s are complex and…

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