Distinct Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms Tied to Different Brain Pathways

Neurobiologists have found that identifiable brain pathways are linked with specific debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The findings could help form the basis for improving therapeutic strategies for precise symptoms of Parkinson’s at various levels of disease progression.

Finding Right Drug Balance for Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s disease is most commonly treated with levodopa, but the benefits wear off as the disease progresses and high doses can result in dyskinesia, which are involuntary and uncontrollable movements. To better understand the underlying reasons behind these effects, researchers created a model of the interactions between levodopa, dopamine, and the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in Parkinson’s disease. They discuss their findings in the journal Chaos.

UTEP Awarded $1.3M to Research How Neural Circuits Regulate Specific Cognitive Functions

The University of Texas at El Paso was awarded $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health to shed light on how the combined function of neural circuits impacts specific behaviors in humans. The study will seek to identify and characterize glycinergic neurons in the basal ganglia, a brain area that participates in initiation of voluntary movements and cognitive functions such as emotion, vision and some forms of memory.