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Summer-Fall 2001
Vol. 64, No. 1

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Parkinson's: New Treatments, Insights

Worth Noting

Bridget Cooks, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, received an $18,500 award from the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Fellowship Program in American Art. She is researching a history of black representation and self-representation in art exhibitions in the United States from 1993 to 1998.

People with Parkinson's disease may have a new, drug-based treatment option, and doctors may have new insights into the environmental triggers of the debilitating disease, thanks to work by researchers at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Parkinson's Study Group, led by neurologist Ira Shoulson, recommended that physicians consider a second drug when planning treatments for patients.

The alternative, a medication known as a dopamine agonist, adds another option to the 30-year-old standard drug treatment, the study concluded.

In a separate study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers led by Deborah Cory-Slechta, professor of environmental medicine and dean for research at the medical school, found that mice exposed to a combination of two common pesticides developed the same pattern of brain damage as people with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers caution that more work is needed to explain the link, but the results indicate that environmental factors may be one element at work in the onset of the disease.


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