April is officially National Parkinson’s Month — a reminder that one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease everyday. To learn more about the disease and what treatments are being developed, GMU was joined by Neurosurgeon, Dr. Brian Kopell.
Parkinson’s Disease occurs when a part of the brain called the substantia nigra — which produces the chemical dopamine — begins to die. In the past, treatments have worked to give patients dopamine to counteract this, which has resulted in symptoms like abnormal movement and rigidity. As a more modern course of action, Deep Brain Stimulation has been used and is performed by Dr. Kopell, himself. It involves placing a pacemaker-type device into the brain to regulate abnormal electrical patterns. Additionally, this practice allows for the study of Parkinson’s to ultimately work for a cure.
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