Investigating the causes of Parkinson's disease

A University of Nottingham researcher has been awarded more than 440,000 by the Parkinsons Disease Society (PDS) to investigate the causes of the condition.

Dr Lynn Bedford, of the School of Biomedical Sciences, will lead a five-year study after receiving an award from the PDS under its Career Development Awards Scheme, which aims to support the careers of the UKs most promising individuals working in Parkinsons research.

Dr Bedford will be using a new genetic model of Parkinsons to further understanding of how and why nerve cells die. Her research will also take a closer look at the reasons for the formation of Lewy bodies a build-up of proteins within nerve cells in the brains of people with Parkinsons.

This study is aimed at providing a platform for the development of drugs to stop nerve cell death.

Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development for the Parkinsons Disease Society, said: Researchers are the people who make the discoveries and forge the links between different research areas so clearly investing in people is key to furthering our understanding of Parkinsons.

The Career Development Awards Scheme is aimed at increasing the number of people involved in Parkinsons research and encouraging the UKs top researchers of the future to specialise in Parkinsons.

Parkinsons is a progressive neurological condition caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine, which is responsible for movement. The condition affects movements such as walking, talking, and writing. Its three main symptoms are tremor, muscular rigidity, and slowness of movement. Parkinsons is a very individual condition and the rate and nature of progression varies from person to person.

Dr Bedford said: I have been involved in Parkinsons disease research for the last five years so I am delighted to get this Career Development Award. This novel model of Parkinsons will be crucial

Contact: Lynn Bedford
University of Nottingham

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