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New research examines connection between inflammatory stimulus and Parkinson's disease
Date:4/23/2013

BOSTONParkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive degenerative disease affecting a person's ability to coordinate and control their muscle movement. What starts out as a tremor in a finger will eventually lead to difficulty in writing and speaking, and ultimately the inability to walk without assistance. Since the 1950s research has shown that people with Parkinson's have decreased levels of the chemical dopamine in their brains, which is involved in sending messages to the part of the brain that controls coordination and movement. Subsequent research has found that dopamine-generating cells, known as dopaminergic neurons, are also absent in a specific area of the brain in those with PD.

The precise cause or causes of PD is unknown, but there is a consensus that an inflammatory event or episode is involved in the initiation of neurodegeneration, and that chronic neuroinflammation is a sustaining and exacerbating reason for the loss of the dopaminergic neurons. A new study conducted by a team of Texas researchers brings the understanding of inflammation's role a step further. They have found that a single, high-dose exposure of an experimental inflammatory agent in an animal model causes changes in brain tissue that are similar to those associated with the development of the disease.

The study was conducted by Roger Bick and his colleagues Marie-Francoise Doursout, Michael S. Schurdell, Lauren M. Young, Uzondu Osuagwu, Diana M. Hook, Brian J. Poindexter, Mya C. Schiess, and Diane L. M. Bick, all at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Tex. Dr. Schiess will discuss the team's findings at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting, being held April 20-24, 2013 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Mass.

The poster presentation is entitled, "Inflammatory cells and cytokines in the olfactory bulb of a rat model of neuroinflammation; Insights into neurodegeneration?" and is sponsored by the American Socie
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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
617-954-3976
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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