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$1.3M NIH grant to fund Parkinson's disease study
Date:5/28/2008

ptom of the chronic L-DOPA. And patients can't simply stop taking L-DOPA; if they do, they face a nearly "frozen" life with incredibly limited ability to move.

Bishop and his colleagues at Wayne State University's medical school and the Veterans Administration hospital in Chicago hope to find a way to reduce dyskinesia and suppress these movements. There are very few treatments available, in part because how dyskinesia develops is still a mystery.

"We are beginning to believe that dyskinesia is actually the inability to suppress motor memories as a result of the drug's stimulation," Bishop said.

One possible treatment relates to glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain that can play a role in these memory processes, helping to lay down new pathways for motor memories. The five-year grant from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke will allow Bishop and his team to study serotonin compounds that reduce glutamate following L-DOPA treatment. Bishop's work has also been supported by the American Parkinson's Disease Association.

According to Bishop, Parkinson's is an increasingly urgent medical concern. Roughly 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson's; 50,000 more Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year.

"That's only going to increase as our population ages," Bishop said. "This is not something that's going away.


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Contact: Gail Glover
gglover@binghamton.edu
607-777-2174
Binghamton University
Source:Eurekalert  

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