The 23andMe Parkinson’s Research Study

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." Colin Powell Introduction/Background: Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. It evolves slowly, usually starting as either stiffness in a hand or a small tremor. Over time, Parkinson’s progresses; …

Parkinson’s and the Positivity of Michael J. Fox

“For everything this disease has taken, something with greater value has been given–sometimes just a marker that points me in a new direction that I might not otherwise have traveled. So, sure, it may be one step forward and two steps back, but after a time with Parkinson’s, I’ve learned that what is important is …

Importance of Model Systems in Parkinson’s Research

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” Will Duran “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'” Isaac Asimov Introduction:  The goal of this post is to highlight several experimental model systems that have effectively been used in Parkinson's research.  We  have …

Neuroprotection by Modified-Macrophages in a Parkinson’s Model System

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Carl Sagan “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller Précis: Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are using an innovative approach to treat Parkinson's in …

Potential New Parkinson’s Drug Highlight: the Leukemia Drug Nilotinib

“With Parkinson’s you have two choices: You can let it control you, or you can control it. And I’ve chosen to control it.” US Senator Isakson “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” Albert Einstein Introduction: In my academic career to-date, my research group and I …

Science of Advanced Age as a Risk Factor for Parkinson’s

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.” Yoko Ono “Embrace aging.” Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie Précis: The great majority of individuals with Parkinson's reveal no genetic mutations, no past history of head injury, …

Poetry to Parkinson’s

“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It's not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It's encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.” Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and …

Happiness and Parkinson’s: 10 Simple Suggestions to Make Your Life Happier

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” Steve Maraboli “No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Introduction: Happiness, being positive, and remaining hopeful are “life-elements” important to us all. To give you an idea as to how important it is for us to achieve happiness, a …

Life-Stories and Updates on Parkinson’s Science

“E.E Cummings wrote, "To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight- and never stop fighting.” Brené Brown Teaching, and more teaching: I spent most of June and July getting ready …

Parkinson’s and Dementia: Remembering Robin Williams (1951-2014)

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” Robin Williams Hiding behind the initial diagnosis: When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's 18 months ago, I told my immediate family, a few close friends, and some key people in my research group.  Receiving news that you have a progressive neurodegenerative disorder strikes …