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Welcome to Our Parkinson's Place


I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible. I have Parkinson's
diseases as well and thought it would be nice to have a place where
updated news is in one place. That is why I began this blog.
I am not responsible for it's contents, I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish. This is for you to read and to always keep an open mind.
Please discuss this with your doctor, should you have any questions, or concerns. Never do anything without talking to your doctor. I do not make any money from this website. I volunteer my time to help all of us to be informed. Please No advertisers, and No Information about Herbal treatments. This is a free site for all.
Thank you.


Friday, February 24, 2017

StemGenex Medical Group providing stem cell therapy on You Tube














StemGenex Medical Group is dedicated to providing stem cell therapy to help individuals suffering with inflammatory and degenerative illnesses. Board Certified Physicians administer safe and effective adult adipose-derived stem cell therapy, a minimally invasive procedure using an individual’s own stem cells to treat diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, COPD, Osteoarthritis and more.

To find out if you are a candidate for stem cell treatment, call (855) 742-STEM to speak with a Patient Advocate or visit https://stemgenex.com/.

Twitter: @StemGenex
Instagram: @stemgenex

This testimonial includes a description of this patient’s actual results. These results may not be typical or expected for the particular disease type described in this testimonial. You should not expect to experience these results. Stem cell therapy is not FDA approved and is not a cure for any medical condition.

**ALWAYS SPEAK TO YOUR NEUROLOGIST - MOVEMENT SPECIALIST (MDS) BEFORE DOING ANYTHING

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYfnx7Wv4wE

Using Virtual Reality to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment

NEUROSCIENCE NEWS
Summary: Researchers report mild cognitive impairment can be remotely detected with the help of a self administered brain training game.


Source: IOS Press.

The VSM payment screen (screenshot from the English version of the application). NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).


A condition that often predates Alzheimer’s disease (AD), can be remotely detected through a self-administered virtual reality brain training game. 

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that often predates Alzheimer’s disease (AD), can be remotely detected through a self-administered virtual reality brain training game.

Thessaloniki, Greece, February 23, 2017 – Greek researchers demonstrated the potential of a self-administered virtual supermarket cognitive training game for remotely detecting mild cognitive impairment (MCI), without the need for an examiner, among a sample of older adults. MCI patients suffer from cognitive problems and often encounter difficulties in performing complex activities such as financial planning. They are at a high risk for progressing to dementia however early detection of MCI and suitable interventions can stabilize the patients’ condition and prevent further decline.

It has been shown that virtual reality game-based applications and especially virtual supermarkets can detect MCI. Past studies have utilized user performance in such applications along with data from standardized neuropsychological tests in order to detect MCI. The team that conducted this study was the first scientific team to achieve reliable MCI detection using a virtual reality game-based application on its own. In that previous study , administration of the virtual super market (VSM) exercise was conducted by an examiner. The present study eliminated the need for an examiner by calculating the average performance of older adults using a special version of the VSM application, the VSM Remote Assessment Routine (VSM-RAR), at home on their own, for a period of one month. It is the first instance where a self-administered virtual reality application was used to detect MCI with a high degree of reliability.

The research team included scientists from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Information Technologies Institute (CERTH/ITI), the Greek Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (GAADRD) and the Network Aging Research (NAR) of the University of Heidelberg.

In an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the researchers have indicated that the virtual supermarket remote assessment routine (VSM-RAR) application displayed a correct classification rate (CCR) of 91.8% improving VSM’s CCR as assessed in the previous VSM study while achieving a level of diagnostic accuracy similar to the most accurate standardized neuropsychological tests, which are considered the gold standard for MCI detection.

Self-administered computerized cognitive training exercises/games are gaining popularity among older adults as an easy and enjoyable means of maintaining cognitive health. Such applications are especially popular among older adults who consider themselves healthy and are not inclined to visit specialized memory clinics for cognitive assessment. If self-administered games and exercises could also detect cognitive disorders, initial cognitive screening could be conducted remotely. The wide implementation of this method of remote screening would facilitate the detection of cognitive impairment at the MCI stage thus allowing for more efficient therapeutic interventions.

This preliminary study indicates that automated, remote MCI screening is feasible. This method could be utilized to screen the majority of the older adult population, as it dramatically lowers examination-related costs. The social and economic benefits, especially caregiver and healthcare service burden, of the early detection of cognitive disorders could be enormous. At the same time, as older adults are becoming increasingly computer savvy, it is important to create software that meets their needs and allows them to remain healthy and active. Out team continues its research on the VSM with the aim of improving its usability, shortening its administration time and supplementing the science behind VSM with additional data.
ABOUT THIS DEMENTIA RESEARCH ARTICLE
Source: Stelios Zygouris – IOS Press 
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).
Original Research: Abstract for “A Preliminary Study on the Feasibility of Using a Virtual Reality Cognitive Training Application for Remote Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment” by Zygouris, Stelios; Ntovas, Konstantinos; Giakoumis, Dimitrios; Votis, Konstantinos; Doumpoulakis, Stefanos; Segkouli, Sofia; Karagiannidis, Charalampos; Tzovaras, Dimitrios; and Tsolaki, Magda in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Published online January 24 2017 doi:10.3233/JAD-160518


Abstract

A Preliminary Study on the Feasibility of Using a Virtual Reality Cognitive Training Application for Remote Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Background: It has been demonstrated that virtual reality (VR) applications can be used for the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Objective: The aim of this study is to provide a preliminary investigation on whether a VR cognitive training application can be used to detect MCI in persons using the application at home without the help of an examiner. 

Methods: Two groups, one of healthy older adults (n = 6) and one of MCI patients (n = 6) were recruited from Thessaloniki day centers for cognitive disorders and provided with a tablet PC with custom software enabling the self-administration of the Virtual Super Market (VSM) cognitive training exercise. The average performance (from 20 administrations of the exercise) of the two groups was compared and was also correlated with performance in established neuropsychological tests.

Results: Average performance in terms of duration to complete the given exercise differed significantly between healthy(μ  = 247.41 s/ sd = 89.006) and MCI (μ= 454.52 s/ sd = 177.604) groups, yielding a correct classification rate of 91.8% with a sensitivity and specificity of 94% and 89% respectively for MCI detection. Average performance also correlated significantly with performance in Functional Cognitive Assessment Scale (FUCAS), Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure test (ROCFT). 

Discussion: The VR application exhibited very high accuracy in detecting MCI while all participants were able to operate the tablet and application on their own. Diagnostic accuracy was improved compared to a previous study using data from only one administration of the exercise. The results of the present study suggest that remote MCI detection through VR applications can be feasible.
“A Preliminary Study on the Feasibility of Using a Virtual Reality Cognitive Training Application for Remote Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment” by Zygouris, Stelios; Ntovas, Konstantinos; Giakoumis, Dimitrios; Votis, Konstantinos; Doumpoulakis, Stefanos; Segkouli, Sofia; Karagiannidis, Charalampos; Tzovaras, Dimitrios; and Tsolaki, Magda in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Published online January 24 2017 doi:10.3233/JAD-160518

http://neurosciencenews.com/mci-virtual-reality-6154/

Local resident embraces Hyperbarics of Sun Valley oxygen therapy to help treat Parkinson's Disease

February 24, 2017

Illustration Only

The very first time I came in it gave me some mental clarity where I haven’t had brain fog issues since I came in, so that’s been huge. With the Parkinson’s I shake on my right side and my shoulder predominantly stiff and pitched forward. It’s released the inflammation in my shoulder where I have almost natural range of motion,” said Dan Gearhart, a local resident.

“Hyperbaric oxygen helps dissolve oxygen into the body so we can super oxygenate the tissue which helps shut down the inflammatory process, one treatment can double your stem cell production and boost your immune system at the same time. So those processes will help with just about any condition out there,” said Phil Rainey, owner of Hyperbarics of Sun Valley.



Hyperbarics of Sun Valley is currently seeking nonprofit status so it can help more people. A service there costs $200 where in the hospital it can be $2,000.
“You either go in there by yourself or with some other people and you watch a movie in there or take your cell phone. I do work. It’s very relaxing. You can sleep. You can put a pillow in there. Like I said, a lot of people wouldn’t realize the benefit of it,” said Gearhart.


Gearhart started a blog to describe his struggle with Parkinson’s and the results he has seen from hyperbaric treatment.

Video:
http://www.kmvt.com/content/news/Local-resident-embraces-Hyperbarics-of-Sun-Valley-oxygen-therapy-to-help-treat-Parkinsons-Disease-414669893.html

Miami Hosts First Pan American PD and Movement Disorders Congress

BY DANIELA SEMEDO, PHD





The inaugural meeting, whose theme is “Movement Disorders in the Americas: State of the Art,” runs from today until Sunday, Feb. 26, at the InterContinental Miami in Florida. It offers a forum for clinicians and scientists to discuss a variety of movement disorder topics as well as make presentations on current research and available treatments.
More than 400 physicians, researchers and other healthcare professionals from North, Central and South America are participating, and more than 150 scientific abstracts will be available for review. They’ll also take part in lectures, debates, teaching courses, skills workshops and video sessions.
Specifically, the event will focus on the pathophysiology, neurobiology and diagnostic approaches of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders. Researchers and physicians will also have the chance to learn about available pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options for patients living with these diseases.
The event’s final program and more information can be found here.
MDS is a professional society of more than 5,000 clinicians, scientists and other healthcare professionals interested in PD, related neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, hyperkinetic movement disorders and abnormalities in muscle tone and motor control.
Founded in 1985 and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, MDS aims to improve the care of patients with movement disorders through education and research, in order to recognize the growing importance of PD care and research within the field of movement disorders.
Later this year, MDS will also host the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Vancouver, Canada. Registration for the June 4-8 event is now open. Its last international congress, in Berlin, attracted 5,500 people representing 84 countries. At the event, 2,111 abstracts were accepted, 100 travel grants were presented and 180 faculty members participated in its scientific sessions.
https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2017/02/24/mds-introduces-1st-pan-american-parkinsons-disease-and-movement-disorders-congress-in-miami/

Parkinson Foundation Western PA

February 24, 2017


"A toast.
To those who uphold and advance our values —
perseverance, grace and purpose."
Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania is pleased to host this important event honoring three remarkable individuals. The Parkinson's community in the Pittsburgh region understands all too well the personal and private struggles of those living with Parkinson's disease. But we also accept that this diagnosis is not an ending, but a beginning—a new journey filled with challenges and tremendous character. Perhaps most importantly, this journey is imbued with the love, help and hope of family, friends and unsung heroes. On this night, we will pay tribute to three such individuals. The Foundation is honored to announce its 2017 Perserverance. Grace. Purpose. Award winners.

Edwin H. Beachler III Esq.
Frank V. Cahouet
Elayna Nagy


TIME & PLACE:

Thursday, April 27th 2017
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The Clemente Museum
Engine House 25
3339 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Visit online (http://www.enginehouse25.com/tour)
Please RSVP by April 13th
Free parking located across the street & next door 
For details & questions:
Please call Barb Farrell
412-837-2542

ABOUT THE VENUE:


The Roberto Clemente Museum is a beautifully renovated firehouse located on Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville. For those who have never visited this rich and rustic venue, you are in for a special and memorable evening. A frequent destination for visiting dignitaries and celebrities, the museum is full of surprises and a fitting place to host such an important night.
The lower floor is a 3300 square foot wine tasting space complete with mashing, fermenting and bottling capabilities. The cellar features tasting counters, a cigar bar and dozens of large oak barrels, many already purchased and tapped by local sports figures and prominent business executives.
The main and second floors house the Roberto Clemente Museum, the largest collection of rare and personal items of Pittsburgh’s greatest sports legend.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Title Sponsor

$7,500
Eight complimentary tickets to the event
Name/Logo included on all event signage and programs
Acknowledgement during the main event speeches
Recognition on PFWPA event page and social media.

Wine Cellar Sponsor

$2,500
Four complimentary tickets to the event
Name/Logo included on all event signage and programs
Recognition on the PFWPA event page and social media.

Event Sponsor

$1,000
Two complimentary tickets to the event
Name included on all event signage and programs
Recognition on the PFWPA event page and social media.

http://pfwpa.org/perserverance-grace-purpose-awards.html

More Than 200 Neurologists Gather for 15th Annual Neurology on the Hill

February 24, 2017


Attendees Call on Congress to Support the FAST Act

WASHINGTON D.C. – What: Neurologists from across the country will meet with federal lawmakers on February 27 – 28, 2017, for the 15th annual “Neurology on the Hill,” an event by the American Academy of Neurology(AAN) to educate Congress on the critical role of neurologists in health care. Who: It will be the largest event to date with 220 neurologists attending, including 100 first-time attendees, from 43 states and Washington D.C. Where: Congressional offices, Washington, D.C. Neurologists are available for interviews. 
When: February 27 – 28, 2017 Key Issues: The American Academy of Neurology will call on members of Congress to co-sponsor the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, which would improve patient care by expanding access to stroke telemedicine, or “telestroke.” Every minute is vital when somebody suffers from a stroke and treatment is needed as quickly as possible. Telestroke uses videoconferencing to connect stroke patients to off-site neurologists who can examine the patient, immediately interpret brain scan results and make treatment recommendations in consultation with Emergency Department personnel
. Medicare currently only covers telestroke services for patients treated at a rural hospital, but not for patients at urban or suburban hospitals. The FAST Act would require Medicare to reimburse for telestroke services regardless of where a patient lives. “The FAST Act was first introduced in 2015 and it has received strong bipartisan support,” said Terrence L. Cascino, MD, FAAN, President of the American Academy of Neurology. “It was reintroduced in the 115th Congress just this month so we hope to continue the momentum and ultimately secure passage of the bill into law.” The AAN will also ask Congress for robust funding in regular appropriations to the NIH as well as continued support and funding for the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative. The BRAIN Initiative, announced by President Obama in 2013, is a 12-year, public-private effort which aims to improve the lives of everyone on the planet by supporting research with a goal to greatly expand our knowledge about the human brain. Strong investments in neuroscience and the BRAIN Initiative have the potential to solve persistent mysteries of brain function, create technologies that seed new industries, and open the door to new treatments for diseases and disorders of the nervous system. 
 The AAN will also urge lawmakers to take action to ensure that prescription medications are accessible for patients with complex, chronic neurologic conditions. Prescription drug prices are high and continue to increase, which is concerning for patients, prescribers, payers, and policymakers. Cost-containment efforts must also address the burden on the entire healthcare system as high prescription drug prices may be shifted and absorbed in ways that negatively impact patient and prescriber access to important medications and limit options. Lastly, as Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, the AAN supports access to high-quality health care and preventative care through insurance coverage for all, including those most vulnerable to health care disparities, regardless of pre-existing conditions. The AAN urges policymakers to protect access to neurology care in all settings, including small and solo practices. Follow Neurology on the Hill on social media with the hashtag #NOH17.
The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.
https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1525

Leamington choir on song at fundraising concert

February 24, 2017

The Sing It Loud Choir with Sarah Wakeman, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson s UK in the West Midlands

In support of Parkinson’s UK the Sing It Loud Community Choir performed at a concert in a packed St Mary’s Church in Warwick. The audience were treated to a variety of songs and carols in early December enabling choir members to present a cheque for £2,000 to Parkinson’s UK. 

After one of the choir members and several choir members’ friends were diagnosed with the progressive neurological condition the choir chose to support the charity. Rosie Sayers, chair of Sing It Loud Choir said: “One of our members was diagnosed with Parkinson’s ten-years-ago. 

“Singing has been proven to help with the symptoms that she and many others experience and we were delighted to be able to raise money to help find a cure.” The Sing It Loud singers were accompanied by the Warwick Symphony Orchestra for the festive ‘Kicking Off Christmas’ event. Sarah Wakeman, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK in the West Midlands, accepted the cheque from the choir.


She said: “I’d like to say a big thank you and congratulations to Sing It Loud Community Choir. “I hope their story will inspire others to sign up for one of our other charitable events that happen throughout the year.” The award winning choir’s next concert ‘Spring into Summertime’ is on Saturday May 6 at Warwick School raising funds for Warkwick’s Myton Hospice.

http://www.leamingtoncourier.co.uk/news/leamington-choir-on-song-at-fundraising-concert-1-7838663

Funding for study which could lead to new drug treatment for dementia diseases

February 24, 2017



Scientists from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) have received funding of more than £58,500 from BRACE, a charity which supports research into Alzheimer's disease, for a pilot study to investigate how a failure in our cells' 'recycling centre' could hold the key to new drug therapies for dementia diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
In order for our bodies to run effectively and healthily, our cells undertake a 'self-eating' process called autophagy. Autophagy works like a 'recycling centre', cleaning up failed components in cells and recycling them for the nutrition and energy needed for cell survival.
Autophagy also clears away toxic build-ups of proteins in the cells - build-ups that cause the death of neurones, which in turn has been shown to cause Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
In order to do its job, autophagy needs vehicles to carry the built-up proteins to a cellular clear-up system called lysosomes. These vehicles are called autophagosomes and are usually broken down by lysosomes as part of the process.
The research team from PUPSMD have discovered that in dementia diseases the build-up of toxic proteins increases the formation of autophagosomes, but damages the function of lysosomes. This means that excessive autophagosomes carrying built-up proteins cannot be broken down by the lysosomes, leaving behind what PUPSMD scientists are calling 'futile autophagosomes'.
The team have also discovered that the increased formation of 'futile autophagosomes' is toxic to cells. The pilot study will investigate if a reduction in their number is beneficial to cell survival in Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.
The pilot study is led by Dr Shouqing Luo, Reader in Neurobiology at PUPSMD. He commented: "Our cells have a neat process for removing what is no longer functional and recycling to create nutrition and energy for new cells, a process which is vital to our continuing good health. In dementia diseases this recycling process doesn't work as well - in general terms the recycling trucks still accumulate and pick up the waste, but the recycling centre is damaged so can't deal with the waste or the truck, resulting in cell damage and potentially death. We are excited by this pilot study because it will bring important knowledge to the causes of dementia diseases, which in turn is likely to yield results that shed light on a drug discovery to deal with them."
BRACE Chief Executive Mark Poarch said: "I am delighted that BRACE has been able to fund this project, which could one day help people who develop dementia and other neurological conditions. BRACE has supported several recent initiatives at universities across the Westcountry since 2014. We hope that people across the South West, and who are touched by the conditions covered by this research, will get behind our fundraising, so that we can do even more. The need for research funds is currently far greater than we can meet, and we want to ensure that we can always fund good research proposals. It would be tragic if research that could change for the better the lives of millions of people was stalled for lack of money."
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-02/uop-ffs022417.php

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Could Parkinson's Disease Raise Stroke Risk?

February 23, 2017


A large new analysis suggests there may some type of link between Parkinson's disease and the risk for stroke.
However, the study can't prove that one condition causes the other -- or even which direction the link might travel, the researchers said.
For example, maybe Parkinson's somehow raises a person's odds for ischemic stroke -- the type that's caused by a clot and makes up the vast majority of strokes. Or, it could be that having a stroke weakens the brain, raising the risk that a patient will develop Parkinson's.
Or, as one expert who reviewed the findings said, a separate, unknown factor might independently link the two conditions.
"There may be some processes that occur with aging that increase the risk of both stroke and neurodegenerative disorders" such as Parkinson's, said Dr. Andrew Feigin, a neurologist at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y.
More study will be needed to unravel the connection, said a team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin Kummer, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
In the study, Kummer's team tracked outcomes for a sample of about 1.6 million U.S. Medicare recipients between 2008 and 2014.
The study found that the incidence of ischemic stroke among those already diagnosed with Parkinson's was just under 2 percent, compared with less than 1 percent for those who did not struggle with Parkinson's.
The investigators also looked at the situation from the opposite perspective. They found that among people who had suffered a stroke, nearly 1 percent went on to develop Parkinson's -- compared to less than half a percent of people with no such medical history.
The study also supported evidence from prior studies linking strokes and Alzheimer's disease. Kummer's team found that the incidence of Alzheimer's among patients who had experienced a stroke was more than 3.5 percent. This compared with just over 1 percent for those who'd never experienced an ischemic stroke, the researchers said.
Dr. Ajay Misra is chair of neurosciences at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. He said the finding suggests that, for seniors, "both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease [have an] increased incidence of stroke soon after the diagnosis is made."
Misra stressed that patients can take steps to minimize the risk of stroke and neurological illness, however. "Risk-reduction strategies for both are common -- abstain from smoking and excessive alcohol intake, get regular exercise, weight control, control of high blood pressure and the prevention of diabetes," he said.

The study was to be presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in Houston. Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2017-02-23/could-parkinsons-disease-raise-stroke-risk

3 Tips for Feeling Great With Parkinson’s Disease

 FEBRUARY 23, 2017 BY WENDY HENDERSON IN SOCIAL CLIPS.




In this video from Invigorate Physical Therapy and Wellness, founder Sarah King shares her top three tips for Parkinson’s patients to improve their quality of life.
Ms. King’s first tip is to treat exercise as another medication you need to take regularly to control your Parkinson’s disease. Regular exercise helps Parkinson’s patients use dopamine more effectively and improves general overall health.
King also advises patients to cut out junk food and to buy organic fruit and vegetables. If patients find the cost too prohibitive then they should at least check which fruits and vegetables are part of the “dirty dozen” (most affected by harmful chemicals) and buy those organic.
Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2017/02/23/three-tips-for-living-well-with-parkinsons-disease-from-a-physical-therapist/

Forma Therapeutics Gets Michael J. Fox Foundation Grant to Expand Parkinson’s Research

FEBRUARY 23, 2017  BY CHARLES MOORE



FORMA Therapeutics has received a research grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to expand its efforts to find a treatment for the disease.
FORMA is conducting its protein-based research in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). The work focuses on protein equilibrium and mitochondrial function, biological processes that could be used to develop new treatments for Parkinson’s. The mitochondria components of cells transform food into energy.
Key members of the research team include University of Liverpool Professors Michael Clague and Sylvie Urbé, and Dr. David Komander, who specializes in protein and nucleic acid at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge. They are working with Dr. Stephanos Ioannidis, FORMA’s lead investigator, on neurodegenerative disease treatment discovery and development.
Cells create millions of new proteins every minute, and they must be “transported to the correct location, folded, modified and assembled with other proteins in order to function properly,” according to the MRC lab. “Failure along any of these maturation steps can reduce protein function and lead to the accumulation of aberrant protein intermediates, resulting in disease.”
FORMA said recent research suggests that members of the deubiquitinase (DUB) protein family, which are critical to protein homeostasis, or equilibrium, are key players in mitophagy, or the deterioration of mitochondria.
Targeting DUB to eliminate abnormal mitochondria could lead to a treatment for Parkinson’s, researchers said. The Michael J. Fox grant will support the development of DUB-targeting compounds that could be used as a Parkinson’s therapy.
“While accumulating evidence implicate[s] defective mitochondria in PD pathology, exactly how DUBs regulate mitophagy is unclear,” Shalini Padmanabhan, the Fox Foundation’s associate director of research programs, said in a press release. “We hope this award will enable FORMA and its neurodegenerative disease alliance with leading investigators to understand the role of DUBs in clearance of damaged mitochondria and potentially lead to a promising treatment approach for PD patients.”
“We are honored to receive recognition from MJFF for our research in protein homeostasis and to collaborate with its network in PD. This award provides support to further enable innovative research with our talented collaborators in the UK,” said John Hohneker, MD, EVP, FORMA’s director of research and development “We hope to gain a deeper understanding of the role of DUBs in PD that will ultimately facilitate the advancement of new therapies for patients.”
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s research. It has given $650 million to research organizations. For more information, visit: https://www.michaeljfox.org/
FORMA Therapeutics’ research philosophy combines deep biology insight, scientific chemistry expertise, and early development of treatments that it hopes will help those with Parkinson’s and other diseases. The company’s research efforts involve experts from around the world. The programs are aimed at speeding potential treatments through the lab and clinical-trials stages and into the hands of clinicians and patients. For more information, visit:

Sources:
FORMA Therapeutics
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research(MJFF)
University of Liverpool
Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology

https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2017/02/23/forma-therapeutics-obtains-michael-j-fox-foundation-grant-for-parkinsons-research/