Research Holds The Key To Unlock The Parkinson’s Mystery, Find Treatments, And A Cure
Research and Innovations Parkinson’s changes everything. It is a disease of the brain that touches almost every aspect of daily living, including: movement, mood, speech, eating and drinking, sleep, and cognitive changes.
Right now in Canada some 100,000 individuals with Parkinson’s are struggling with the stigma and daily challenges of living with this complex neurological disease. By 2031, the Parkinson’s population is expected to double. With 10 more people diagnosed every day, research into improved treatments and a cure is more urgent than ever, as well as the need to train more movement disorder specialists to address the growing need for their services.
“Blood pressure fluctuations may cause small silent strokes or transient alterations of brain networks that may worsen cognitive impairment.”
At Toronto’s Sunnybrook Research Institute, Dr. Sean Udow, a neurologist, is dividing this year as a Clinical Movement Disorders fellow honing his clinical skills and researching the potential connection between blood pressure fluctuations and cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. His fellowship and research is being funded by Parkinson Canada’s National Research Program.
“Blood pressure fluctuations may cause small silent strokes or transient alterations of brain networks that may worsen cognitive impairment,” says Dr. Udow.
Basic research is also critical to new advances in Parkinson’s treatment and knowledge. At the Lunenfeld Tannenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, cell biologist Geoffrey Hesketh is investigating the function of the Retromer group of proteins, which he has linked to 10 genes that, when damaged, cause Parkinson’s disease. Through Hesketh’s Parkinson Canada funded research, he will work towards unlocking exactly how these genes work together and what other proteins they communicate with that may eventually point the way to a new drug or therapy that can treat Parkinson’s.