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The University of Nottingham in the British Midlands Announces Breakthrough in Parkinson's Disease Research
Date:8/27/2008

Award Winning Research Team Makes Crucial Breakthrough in Battle to Prevent

Onset of Parkinson's Disease

CHICAGO, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The British Midlands Development Corporation today announced that scientists at The University of Nottingham have made a crucial breakthrough in the battle to slow or prevent the onset of a very common type of dementia and Parkinson's disease.

The researchers have genetically produced the first ever mouse model with the type of brain degeneration, or nerve cell loss, seen in Lewy body disease and Parkinson's disease, which could lead to more targeted drugs to treat the degenerative conditions.

The study has been carried out by Professor John Mayer and Dr Lynn Bedford in the University's School of Biomedical Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Jim Lowe in the School of Molecular Medical Sciences.

Professor John Mayer said: "Current drugs given to people with Lewy body and Parkinson's disease simply treat the symptoms. This model is the first platform to understand how the brain cell deterioration takes place. We will use this model to identify targets for new drugs to slow or prevent the disease."

Lewy body disease, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The number of people with dementia is forecast to double within a generation.

Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development at the Parkinson's Disease Society, added: "The formation of Lewy bodies is a key event in the development of nerve cell death associated with Parkinson's disease. Understanding how these are formed will help us to figure out what happens when nerve cells die in Parkinson's and from this to develop therapies that will ultimately provide a cure for the condition."

"Universities in the Midlands continue to set the bar in innovation and discovery," said Vern Sebby, President and CEO of British Mi
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SOURCE British Midlands Development Corporation
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