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New insight into Parkinson's disease 'highlights mysteries' of condition

New insight into Parkinson's disease 'highlights mysteries' of condition
25th March 2009

A new study published in this month's Science journal has found that surprising insights into Parkinson's disease are being made constantly, highlighting the mysteries of the condition.

Scientists at Stanford University recently used light to illuminate how deep-brain stimulation treatment is believed to work, with research showing the networks which appear in the diseased circuitry of a sufferer's brain.

It is now understood that through deep-brain stimulation, it is not the cells in the major elements of the brain which responded to the treatment well but axons - the neural wires in the organ - which gives the study's writers hope.

Lead author and associate professor of bioengineering and psychiatry Karl Deisseroth said: "Pointing to these axons that converge on the region opens the door to targeting the source of those axons.

"This insight leads to deeper understanding of the circuit and could even lead to new kinds of treatments."

Last month, an x-ray imaging system was used by scientists at Keele University to identify brain tissue with cells vulnerable to Parkinson's disease.

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