March 2012 Archives

Two studies aim to slow the onset of Parkinson's disease

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University of Minnesota researchers have recently published updates to two distinct efforts aimed at combatting Parkinson's disease (PD) by tackling the basic science behind the disease.

The end goal of the two studies is to advance understanding of the mechanism's behind the condition's neurodegeneration in hopes of developing a drug that will provide effective therapy for PD patients, treating the underlying causes of the disease and other related disorders.

Parkinson's disease is a disease of the central nervous system, and 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with the condition each year. The most obvious symptom of the disease is uncontrolled body movements when resting. Once the disease progresses further a patient can experience changes in their mood, dementia, problems with their senses and sleep difficulties.

Read more about these two distinct studies.

Decade of Discovery hires new executive director

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The Decade of Discovery, a major initiative of the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, has hired an executive director and awarded three research grants totaling $1.86 million to bring the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic closer to the initiative's goal: finding a cure for diabetes.

David Etzwiler, the Decade of Discovery's new executive director, has a background in leadership in the private health care sector, having served as vice president of community affairs and executive director of the Medtronic Foundation. He also has experience securing government funding for large projects.

Read more from the Minnesota Medical Foundation