Senior Living

Researchers look for clues to Parkinson's progression

Emory Researchers are conducting a prospective clinical study to examine the possibility of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease (PD) before motor symptoms occur. The study is an arm of the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which was launched in 2010 by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help define one or more biomarkers of PD.

The PPMI study included early, untreated PD patients, and this arm of the study will include pre-symptomatic patients. The study will examine biomarkers indicative of conversion from no motor symptoms to the typical neurological disorder. Patients will undergo Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and have tests to examine brain proteins that mark the disease, and possibly mark the conversion to symptomatic disease.

“Presently, there is no test for diagnosing Parkinson’s,” says Stewart Factor, DO, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and principal site investigator of the study. “It is a clinical diagnosis based on history and clinical examination findings.

“Since Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, we believe that by learning to recognize pre-motor symptoms for PD, we may be able to develop therapies that would delay or prevent the onset of the impaired movements, tremor and gait problems in PD patients.”

The pre-motor arm of PPMI will enroll participants who do not have motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but are living with one of three potential risk factors for PD: a reduced sense of smell; rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (acting out one’s dreams); or a mutation in the LRRK2 gene – the single greatest genetic contributor to PD known to date. Then the participants will be followed over several years to see if, or when, they develop Parkinson’s disease.

*** The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focusing on teaching, research, health care and public service.



More Close Up

Weekender: See & Do

• Southern Ground Social Club, 18 Main St., Senoia, Fri., Oct. 31, a Halloween show by Dogs in a Bathtub, along with Best Brothers, wil ... Read More


Movie Review

‘Nightcrawler’ catches fear in the frame

Eager, with a large plastic smile, Louis Bloom, a budding news videographer, tells his television producer that he’s working on framin ... Read More


Food & Dining

Annual chili cook-off gives back to community

With a brisk fall night in the air, the classic taste of warm chili was comforting, especially in the name of fundraising for kids. The seve ... Read More


Food & Dining

Warm up to toasty, tasty chili

(FAMILY FEATURES) – Whether cooking for a crowd or serving up a regular weeknight meal, nothing warms the body and pleases the appetit ... Read More


Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink Ladies raise $55K for Atlanta walk

Every dollar raised in the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer stays in Georgia, and of the 134 teams in the Oct. 11-12 walk, it just so ha ... Read More

Resurrection Lutheran retreat focuses on women's health

Women of Resurrection Lutheran Church retreated to Lutheranch in Tallapoosa last weekend for ministry in support of Breast Cancer Awareness ... Read More