In an unexpected discovery, researchers have identified what appears to be a significant vascular defect in patients with moderately severe Parkinson's disease. The finding could help explain an earlier outcome of the same study, in which the drug nilotinib was able to halt motor and non-motor (cognition and quality of life) decline in the long term.
A new gene therapy targeting the small brain region where dopamine neurons reside, the substantia nigra, substantially boosts the benefits of the drug levodopa in Parkinson's. The therapy restored the ability of these neurons to convert levodopa to dopamine. Scientists also showed how damage to the powerplants inside dopamine-releasing neurons triggers Parkinson's. The findings may help identify humans in the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease, develop therapies to slow disease progression and treat late-stage disease.
A new study shows that in the last two decades the death rate from Parkinson's disease has risen about 63 percent in the United States. The study also found that the death rate was twice as high in men as in women, and there was a higher death rate in white people than other racial/ethnic groups.
To break down toxic proteins more quickly, immune cells in the brain can join together to form networks when needed. However, in certain mutations that can cause Parkinson's disease, this cooperation is impaired.