Delaware State University Awarded $438,000 NIH Grant In Support of Parkinson's Disease Research
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on January 28, 2022 |
Delaware State University recently received a $438,000 three-year grant from the NIH’s Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in support of research to combat Parkinson’s Disease.
Dr. Y. Hwan Kim, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, and principal investigator on the project, said his lab is looking for ways to reverse or prevent progression of the disease.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a heredity, progressive brain disorder that leads to tremors, shaking, and muscle stiffness. Sufferers often have difficulties in speaking, walking and holding their balance.
In the brain, PD leads to a loss of neurons that produce dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain that the nervous system uses to send messages to nerve cells.
Researchers have found that clumps of specific substances and proteins within brain cells are markers of Parkinson’s Disease. They believe these “Lewy Bodies” provide an important clue.
Dr. Kim said researchers at Del State will look to create new strategies that protect dopamine neurons from the protein clusters.
“All the medicines available alleviate the symptoms and help patients move better and feel better,” said Dr. Kim. “This novel research looks to cure the disease.”
Dr. Kim said the research, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins and Korea Basic Science Institute, is being assisted by a post-doctorate researcher, two Ph.D. candidates and six undergraduate students at Del State.
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