Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the dopaminergic system of the brain and the functioning of the basal ganglia; a complex neural network made up of smaller brain structures such as the subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra and striatum.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter vital to many different brain functions including voluntary movement control, learning, and decision making. Symptoms typically associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as tremor and bradykinesia, are caused by the breakdown of the dopaminergic system.  Although the cause of the disorder is still unknown, treatments such as medication and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) are providing relief from symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and difficultly walking.

The LNCC is currently using biologically based neural network models to gain a better understanding of Parkinson’s Disease. By doing so, we believe better treatments, and hopefully a cure, will follow.

We invite you to read the Michael J. Fox Foundation Newsletter and to visit the websites available on our links page.

If you would like more information about our research, or would like to participate, please contact us.