For those facing the day in and day out struggle of Parkinson's disease, finding out new information and the latest research can be beneficial to overall health and life enrichment. Statistics and new information within this area certainly brings hopeful news to those troubled with the daily burdens Parkinson's disease can bring and the toll that it can take. The following research study was originally published in the journal Brain. It was supported by the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Research and Development for Parkinson's Disease
An understanding of Parkinson's disease and research throughout the years has led to several scientific breakthroughs. While numerous individuals have benefited from the modern breakthroughs of medical science, there are still many strides that can be taken in order to help those looking for factual information and the latest in medical information.
The National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative funded a research project that could assist in drug development for Parkinson's disease. In a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Florida, a new breakthrough method has been observed. This method assists in destroying nerve cells that are vital for standard motion. Top researchers were able to look at various brain cells, in addition to “free” water just outside of the cells.
“Free water” surrounding the brain is defined as fluid that is unconstrained by various levels of brain tissue. This free water surrounding the substania nigra region has been shown to increase in those with Parkinson's disease. Some scientists have theorized this could very well indeed point to the overall volume of extracellular areas within the brain region. During the aforementioned study led by professors at the University of Florida, researchers utilized a different type of MRI that would show the differences between levels of water that were found within the brain region, comparing them to “free” water that is found outside of the cells.
A main area within this study was the focus of the brain structure known as substantia nigra. This particular brain structure is where neurons that use dopamine to transmit information with other cells are killed off by Parkinson's disease. Results from these studies have been able to provide information that sheds further light on the subject. With these results, scientists were able to determine the amount of water that stayed within the brain was nearly identical over over the span of a year in healthy subjects.
In individuals with Parkinson's disease, however, the quantity of free water had indeed increased for those suffering with the early-stages of Parkinson's disease. Within just a three year time frame, this amount of free water had continued to increase around that particular area of the brain. With this latest study and efforts, scientists were able to grow upon and confirm similar studies that measured free water. These discoveries within the field of Parkinson's disease research were able to reveal information tying together free water and deteriorating symptoms in these patients. Assessing whether or not a drug could slow down symptoms was a key focus in this particular study.
Various Stages of Parkinson's Disease and Increased Symptoms from Free Water
The ability to track assorted stages of Parkinson's disease and the decline in quality of nerve cells has led to modern breakthroughs in treatment of this disease. Stage One through Stage Five of Parkinson's disease were included in the study regarding waterlogged brain modification and the link to deterioration throughout the different phases. During this study, individuals who were facing different stages of the disease were examined in their intensity. Over time, increased free water was shown to accumulate rapidly within those who suffer into later stages of Parkinson's disease.
This has led some researchers to believe that increased free water to parts of the brain can only worsen the already increased fluid count and lead to exasperated symptoms. Those suffering with a larger increase in water fluid had a decrease in dopamine nerve cell activity levels. With this information and research results, scientists were able to determine that certain free water changes are related to the advancement of Parkinson's disease. The ability to help pinpoint the biological connection of brain activity and the decline of quality in patients could help researchers better understand the effects and tribulations of Parkinson's.
Sponsored Research and Further Evidence
MRI-based free water studies has potential to be used in further disease clinical trials relating to Parkinson's disease. Clinical trials that assist in halting and slowing the loss of dopamine neurons could prove exceedingly useful. During this study, researchers used information and data from the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, also known as PPMI. This study was supported by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, a well-known Parkinson's disease organization that collects information on newly diagnosed individuals at locations throughout 30 different United States countries and worldwide locations.
Related patterns were found by researchers who were led by David Vaillancourt, Ph.D, a professor of applied physiology and kinesiology at the University of Florida, the leader behind the research linking waterlogged brain damage regions and Parkinson's disease. In combination with the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, research has led to further certainty within the area by lead researchers. Discovering how to slow down and completely ending the neuron degeneration process has been a key concentration for scientists throughout the years of focused studies.
The Latest Approach and Data Collection for Parkinson's Disease
Given the latest research led by those at the University of Florida in Gainesville, researchers are free to theorize that a free water approach has the ability to help clinical trials become less costly overall. This is due to the reduction in the number of participants. Although further studies are necessary to continue gathering information related to Parkinson's disease, the group led by Dr. Vaillancourt are putting efforts toward computer program development that will assist in analyzing free water changes in a more efficient manner overall.
Keeping track of studies over a lengthy period of time will assist scientists in discovering Parkinson's disease breakthroughs over extended periods of time. Medical breakthroughs for Parkinson's disease have been increasing within recent years. Although stress reduction and self-care are viewed as some of the many ways to improve systems, scientific breakthroughs are critical for success in knowing and helping better understand the different stages of Parkinson's disease.
An estimated $25 billion per year in the United States is spent on direct and indirect treatment and management of Parkinson's, according to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Continuing to understand how Parkinson's disease can progress is vital in understanding how to better treat and manage patients. Understanding the symptoms and side effects could even lead to better diagnosis in individuals who remain undiagnosed until later stages. Understanding the latest research and staying up to date could lead to better quality of life overall.
Those affected by Parkinson's should continue to remain up to date with the latest information from scientific resources when possible. Further studies are certainly needed to assess the full extent of this new information, with new attempts and strides being made daily within the Parkinson's disease community.