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Northwestern study tests drug against Parkinson's disease
Date:4/1/2014

and Drug Administration as a calcium-channel blocker to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). By inhibiting the excessive flow of calcium, it may also stunt certain adverse cellular functions.

Researchers have speculated that imbalances in calcium may contribute to cellular toxicity and the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain that lead to Parkinson's. Dopamine is a critical chemical messenger in the brain that directs a person's ability to move. It is hypothesized that isradipine will slow the progression of the disease by protecting dopamine-producing neurons from toxicity over an extended period of time.

Academic colleagues at Feinberg will collaborate with Simuni on this study, including D. James Surmeier, the Nathan Smith Davis Professor of Physiology and director of the Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research. Surmeier, the chair of physiology, and his team of researchers discovered the possible relationship between isradipine and Parkinson's disease. The physiology department Surmeier heads is one of the nation's premier groups studying the physiology of movement disorders.


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Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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