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Feb 24, 2015
Is Ease of Smoking Cessation an Early Sign of Parkinson’s Disease?

Patients with Parkinson’s disease can quit smoking more easily than healthy individuals can, according to data published October 14 in Neurology. A decreased responsiveness to nicotine during the prodromal phase of Parkinson’s disease may account for these findings. 

The authors hypothesized that “ease of smoking cessation is an aspect of premanifest Parkinson’s disease similar to olfactory dysfunction, REM sleep disorders, or constipation.” The apparent neuroprotective effect of smoking observed in previous epidemiologic studies may result from reverse causation, they...

Feb 24, 2015
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: Parkinson's Disease and Pesticides: What's the Connection?

Scientists find a way chemicals may contribute to Parkinson’s

April 8, 2014 |By Bret Stetka

 

The pesticide Parkinson's connection

Thinkstock

What exactly causes Parkinson’s disease is far from figured out. But a clue has been lurking in cornfields for years.
 
The data confirm it: farmers are more prone to Parkinson’s than the general population. And pesticides could be to blame. Over a decade of evidence shows a clear association between pesticide...

Jan 5, 2015
UCLA researchers find that drug used for another disease slows progression of Parkinson’s

Researchers report positive results in mouse model

By Mark Wheeler, UCLA Newsroom

A new study from UCLA found that a drug being evaluated to treat an entirely different disorder helped slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease in mice.

The study, published in the October edition of the journal Neurotherapeutics, found that the drug, AT2101, which has also been studied for Gaucher disease, improved motor function, stopped inflammation in the brain and reduced levels of alpha-synuclein, a protein critically involved in Parkinson’s.

Although the exact cause of...

Jul 22, 2014
UCLA researchers discover new gene involved in Parkinson's disease

Finding may lead to new target for treatment

Kim Irwin | June 09, 2014

In the past decade, scientists have identified a handful of genes connected with Parkinson's disease. Now, a team of UCLA researchers has identified another gene involved in the neurological disorder. Their finding may provide a target for drugs that could one day prevent or even cure the debilitating illness.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer's disease, and it has no cure. About 60,000 Americans are...

Feb 5, 2014
Researchers ID more pesticides linked to Parkinson's, gene that increases risk

From UCLA Newsroom. By Kim Irwin

 

Studies have shown that certain pesticides can increase people's risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Now, UCLA researchers have found that the strength of that risk depends on an individual's genetic makeup, which, in the most pesticide-exposed populations, could increase a person's chance of developing the debilitating disease two- to six-fold.

 In an earlier...

Jan 10, 2014
UCLA, Emory researchers find a chemical signature for 'fast' form of Parkinson's

Earlier detection may provide more effective disease management

By Mark Wheeler, November 21, 2013
UCLA Newsroom 

The physical decline experienced by Parkinson's disease patients eventually leads to disability and a lower quality of life. Depending on the individual, the disorder can progress rapidly or slowly. Scientists at UCLA and colleagues have now, for the first time, identified a biochemical signal in the blood associated with the faster-progressing form of...

May 28, 2013
Boosting 'cellular garbage disposal' can delay the aging process, UCLA biologists report
From UCLA Newsroom, by Stuart Wolpert, May 06,2013
 
UCLA life scientists have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson's disease that can delay the onset of aging and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they say, could have important implications for aging and disease in humans.
 
 
The gene, called parkin, serves at least two vital functions: It marks damaged proteins so that cells can discard...
Dec 13, 2012
Combined effects of traumatic brain injury and pesticide exposure lead to greater risk of Parkinson's disease

A new study by the UCLA scientists shows that the combination of pesticide exposure and head trauma is associated with a three-fold increase in the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.

The study, published in the November 13 issue of the Journal Neurology, collected data from a unique cohort of 357 Parkinson’s patients, part of a decade-long study evaluating environmental and genetic risk factors in Parkinson’s, conducted by the Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease at UCLA. The study shows that participants who had suffered a head injury characterized by...

Oct 30, 2012
UCLA researchers ID gene variants that speed progression of Parkinson's disease

UCLA researchers ID gene variants that speed progression of Parkinson's disease

UCLA researchers may have found a key to determining which Parkinson's disease patients will experience a more rapid decline in motor function, sparking hopes for the development of new therapies and helping identify those who could benefit most from early intervention.
 
In a study published May 15 in the peer-reviewed online journal...
Mar 6, 2012
Parkinson's disease stopped in animal model

Molecular 'tweezers' break up toxic aggregations of proteins

By Mark Wheeler March 01, 2012 Millions of people suffer from Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and worsens over time. As the world's population ages, it's estimated that the number of people with the disease will rise sharply. Yet despite several effective therapies that treat Parkinson's symptoms, nothing slows its progression. While it's not known what exactly causes the disease, evidence points to one particular culprit: a protein called α-synuclein. The...

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