Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre, have made advances in understanding the process by which Parkinson’s Disease (PD) progresses within the brain.
The findings add new evidence to the hypothesis that brain cells in Parkinson’s patients might deteriorate according to a prion-like model of disease propagation, in which a toxic agent spreads from brain cell to brain cell utilizing the normal connections of the brain.
“The atrophy pattern on MRI is compatible with a disease process that spreads via brain networks – something that had never been shown in human patients before, and would support the hypothesis that PD is caused by a “toxic agent” that spreads trans-neuronally,” says Dr. Alain Dagher, the senior author of the study.
Current treatment options help control or minimize symptoms including tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness or rigidity, and loss of balance. The findings of this study hold exciting therapeutic implications. In the long term, it will help researchers develop new techniques to assess the efficacy of drugs that could target the culprit protein and might eventually lead to treatments that will prevent, slow, halt or even reverse the progression of PD.
Parkinson’s disease kills the cells in the brain that create dopamine, a chemical messenger. This, in turn, leads to symptoms such as tremors.
Researchers at University of Saskatchewan and Harvard University are aiming to use stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease.
These patients cells will be transplanted into the brain to produce dopamine, explains Dr. Mendez.
According to Dr. Ole Isacson from Harvard University, patients could see the first benefits nine months after stem cell transplantation.
For further information, click on: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/university+saskatchewan+harvard+team+groundbreaking+parkinson+research/11362581/story.html
Since 1990, Canadians have participated in Parkinson SuperWalk raising funds to support Canadians living with Parkinson’s, their families and care providers.
Parkinson SuperWalk will take place on September 12 and 13, 2015 in 115 communities throughout Canada.
For more information, click here:
“Everything you ever wanted to know about Parkinson’s disease”
This public conference will be held on October 28th, 2015 from 18h30 to 20h at CHU de Québec-Université Laval.
Speakers : Dr Frédéric Calon, professor at the pharmacy faculty and researcher at the CHU de Québec
Dr Léo Cantin, neurosurgeon at L’Enfant-Jésus Hospital
Dre Francesca Ciccetti, professor at the medicine faculty and researcher at CHU de Québec
Place : CHU- CHU de Québec-Université Laval, 2705, boulevard Laurier
Amphitéâtre Fisher TR-54, Québec (Québec) G1V 4G2
Abstract : Dr. Calon will present the current knowledge about Parkinson’s disease as well as the available treatments in pharmacy. Dr. Cantin will discuss the benefits and limits of the Deep Brain Stimulation as an approach for alleviation of motor symptoms of PD. Finally, Dr. Ciccetti will elaborate on therapies being tested for the treatment of the disease, in particular, gene transplantation.
Free registration at : www.crchudequebec.ulaval.ca/conferences