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Fruit flies 'may be key' to Parkinson's dementia

Fruit flies 'may be key' to Parkinson's dementia
14th August 2009

Fruit flies that mimic the symptoms of Parkinson's-associated dementia have been developed by the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, giving hope for future treatments.

Dr Kieran Breen, the director of research and development at the Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS), said it was a top research priority.

He continued: "Tackling Parkinson's-associated dementia is one of our top priorities. So, animal models, such as these fruit flies, are going to be absolutely vital for finding and testing drugs that can actually stop dementia in its tracks."

Dr Breen added that this American study partners well with another the charity has backed with Newcastle University, donating £1.2 million to the new research.

It is hoped that early preventative treatments can be developed to target the main cause of dementia.

Earlier this summer, the PDS awarded a training fellowship for just over £170,000 to Dr Ashwani Jha, who is studying the disease at the Institute of Neurology in London.

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