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New Parkinson's Disease Research

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – Researchers at the University of Missouri Kansas City have uncovered a new approach for treating Parkinson's disease. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Patients with early stages of Parkinson's disease could find relief in the future because of new research from UMKC that identifies one of the primary causes of the degenerative disorder that, at this time, has no cure. Antony Cooper, of UMKC, led a study researching the role of proteins moving through neuron pathways. He found that when the proteins were blocked from getting to the neuron cells patients would get Parkinson's symptoms. Other national institutions collaborated on this project to conduct animal tests that found pathways could be restored and symptoms could be prevented. He says exploring the role of the traffic jam of proteins had never been studied.

Antony Cooper: "This is the first discovery that looks at a transport problem and in particular one in the cell and most importantly making more of a particular protein would suppress these problems."

Cooper says this research could help develop drugs to prevent the disease's symptoms from progressing in patients with Parkinson's.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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