Posts Tagged ‘Parkinson’s disease’

7 facts about deep brain stimulation ─ and why it might not be as scary as you think

There’s no getting around it. Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, requires brain surgery. And that ─ understandably ─ makes people nervous. But DBS might not be as invasive or scary as you think. DBS can be a powerful treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor. Tiny electrodes, or leads, are placed in the brain and connected to a pacemaker-like device. The device sends low-voltage electrical pulses to help control movement. Many patients enjoy … Read More

FAQs on deep brain stimulation: What is it? What does OHSU offer?

If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, you may have heard of deep brain stimulation. But what is it? How does it help? And how is it done here at OHSU? Here are 10 of the most frequently asked questions that can help you learn more. We’ve also recently launched a new deep brain stimulation website with details on the procedure and which patients make good candidates. 1. What is deep brain stimulation? Deep … Read More

Living with a husband who has Parkinson’s disease

Dennis was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 15 years ago and underwent Deep Brain Stimulation at OHSU in 2013. Last week, we heard his story, from the patient perspective. Here, his wife Mary Ellen provides a look into the caregiver’s frame of mind. Originally published on Summit For Parkinson’s, a group of Montanans giving back to the Parkinson’s community. The caregiver’s perspective “How’s Dennis?” That is the typical question of friends and acquaintances wanting to show they care about the health … Read More

Your health questions answered: Is pain a part of Parkinson’s disease?

You ask. OHSU experts answer. Q: I was once told that pain is not a part of Parkinson’s disease. Is that true? A: Pain is a common symptom in people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and people with PD are more likely to have pain than those without PD. It is unclear what causes this increase of painful symptoms, however. There are several theories including loss of dopamine or other neurotransmitters (natural chemicals) in the brain, … Read More

Meet Tianyi Mao: Looking at brain circuits in a new light

The Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet) is the volunteer outreach organization of the OHSU Brain Institute. Each month, they come together for a lecture luncheon. Tianyi Mao, Ph.D. was a recent guest speaker. Our brains are the most sophisticated computing machines on the planet. They are amazingly plastic, yet macroscopically their structures are conserved across individuals within a species. Information, both internal and external, is processed by such stereotypical brain circuits. It flows from one sub-region in … Read More

Vitamin D, mood and memory in persons with Parkinson’s disease

Vitamin D has become a hot topic in recent years. For many years, vitamin D has been known to play a role in bone health. More recent research suggests it may have a much broader role in multiple body systems. In regard to the brain, we know that there are receptors for vitamin D in most parts of the human brain. In persons without Parkinson’s disease, some research suggests vitamin D may be related to … Read More

From laboratory to farm: a scientist’s visit to the local herb farm

As a basic scientist, most of my neuroscience training and research has focused on the underlying biological mechanisms of disease. During the past year, I have started working with a natural compound in my research on Parkinson’s disease. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric spice, can act as an anti-oxidant and anti-aggregation agent, and may have a positive effect on the Lewy bodies found in Parkinson’s patients. At first, I was a bit skeptical about … Read More

‘Neuroprotection': an elusive goal in fighting brain diseases

About 15 years ago, I wrote an article about treating Alzheimer’s disease that divided treatments into two categories: “symptomatic” and “neuroprotectant.” There were real options in the former category. But the “neuroprotectant” idea was more theoretical — more of a “coming attractions” approach — citing the studies that were underway to identify treatments that would actually save brain cells, protecting those neurons from further harm, and actually slowing or arresting the disease process. Sadly, despite … Read More

Scientists excited by new ‘see-through brain’

I am a neuroscientist who uses advanced microscopy techniques to understand the basic mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. Throughout my career, I have always been interested in imaging and microscopy as a way to answer essential biological questions.  That’s why I (along with many other neuroscientists) am so excited about a new technique that creates fully intact, optically clear brains, allowing scientists to study how brain cells connect and communicate with each other in a completely … Read More

Smarter brain ‘glue’ — glia cells take the spotlight

Many neuroscientists will tell you that nerve cells in the brain (called neurons) are the most important part of the nervous system. They are, after all, the primary cells of the nervous system, responsible for conducting electrical currents to encode and process our senses, thoughts, memories and emotions. But there is a growing contingent of neuroscientists who study other brain cells called glia, named for the Greek word for glue. For much of the last … Read More

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