USC Stevens INI launches a $3 million examine to unravel some puzzles about Parkinson’s illness

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The USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (USC Stevens INI), a part of the Keck College of Medication of USC, has launched a $3 million examine that can unite researchers and information from 20 international locations to reply among the most urgent questions on Parkinson’s illness (PD). The 5-year collaborative effort, often called ENIGMA-PD, will analyze mind imaging, genetics, and scientific information in one of many world’s largest research of the illness.

This new grant will sort out among the main puzzles about how PD progresses within the mind, and the way therapy can shield in opposition to these modifications.”


Paul M. Thompson, PhD, principal investigator of the brand new initiative and affiliate director, USC Stevens INI

The researchers have already performed one of many largest internationally coordinated analyses of PD mind imaging information. They studied structural variations between 1,182 wholesome brains and a couple of,357 affected by PD, figuring out a attribute sample of tissue harm that started within the mind’s temporal lobes and spreads all through the cortex. These findings problem the traditional knowledge about PD, which holds that deeper areas of the mind are broken first and should trace at a number of PD subtypes with totally different programs and coverings. The examine was revealed within the journal Motion Problems in July.

ENIGMA-PD will examine whether or not therapies, together with medicine reminiscent of L-Dopa and surgical therapies reminiscent of Deep Mind Stimulation, can decelerate this development of mind tissue loss and scientific decline. Researchers will even examine genetic components that contribute to PD threat, with a selected give attention to how totally different genes enhance the danger of growing PD in people with European versus Asian ancestry.

“What’s distinctive about this undertaking is that it engages consultants from throughout the globe, which will likely be essential for understanding how Parkinson’s threat and development could differ relying on an individual’s genetic background,” stated Thompson, who can be a professor of ophthalmology, neurology, psychiatry and the behavioral sciences, radiology and engineering on the Keck College of Medication.

The grant funds researchers who’re gathering information in traditionally understudied areas, together with Taiwan, South Africa, and Siberia. Thompson will lead the trouble along side Kathleen Poston, MD, of Stanford College and Ysbrand van der Werf, PhD, of Amsterdam College Medical Facilities within the Netherlands.

ENIGMA-PD builds on the success of the Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics by Meta-Evaluation (ENIGMA) consortium, which unites neuroimaging researchers in 45 international locations to check a spread mind illnesses and processes. Based in 2009, the ENIGMA community has performed among the world’s largest neuroimaging research of schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction, main despair, epilepsy, and different circumstances affecting the mind.

The undertaking provides to the INI’s ongoing work on PD, which started in 2010 with the launch of the Parkinson’s Development Markers Initiative (PPMI). The institute shops all of the scientific, genetic and imaging information for greater than 1,400 people within the PPMI examine, which is sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Basis.

“PPMI has already superior the crucial seek for biomarkers of Parkinson’s illness,” stated Arthur W. Toga, PhD, provost professor of ophthalmology, neurology, psychiatry and the behavioral sciences, radiology and engineering, the Ghada Irani Chair in Neuroscience on the Keck College and director of the INI. “ENIGMA-PD will amplify these efforts and assist us proceed to enhance the prognosis for these residing with PD.”

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