Emory to receive more than $6.5 million to study environmental risk factors for Parkinsons disease

Emory University will receive one of three 5-year grants totaling $20 million from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a division of the National Institutes of Health, to study the relationship between exposures to environmental agents and Parkinson's disease (PD). Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system affecting over one million people in the United States.

Emory University, the University of California at Los Angeles and The Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, CA, will each receive more than $6.5 million to create new centers and fund research relating to environmental agents that may trigger the onset of PD. The NIEHS will make the grant announcement on Monday, August 26, in Sunnyvale.

"It's been thought for a long time that environmental factors, including pesticides, may be important in causing Parkinson's disease. We are very excited about this new opportunity to broaden our research efforts in Parkinson's disease and its environmental causes," says J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, and co-director of the Emory Neurodegenerative Disease Center. "We already have a strong program in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in Parkinson's disease, and we have a longstanding interest in the links between a person's genetic make-up, their exposures to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, and their likelihood of developing PD. I think these new NIEHS Collaborative Centers will really accelerate the pace of this research."

Dr. Greenamyre will direct the new center at Emory, which will be called "The Emory Collaborative Center for Parkinson's Disease Environmental Research." The center will combine resources from different departments and schools, including the Emory Neurodegenerative Disease Center, Emory's Department of Neurology and the Rollins School of Public Health. Clinical and basic re

Contact: Janet Christenbury
Emory University Health Sciences Center

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