Biomedical engineers at the Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have claimed that rapid-fire electrical pulses strengthen the ability of brain "pacemakers" to reduce symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease. Brain "pacemakers" are devices that use deep brain stimulation to drown out the irregular bursts of brain activity characteristic to the disease. According to the research, the rapid-fire pulses can create an "information lesion," or information barrier, that acts similarly to an actual surgical lesion used to treat neurological conditions. “Periodic bursts in the brains of people with tremor – which might follow a pattern such as ‘pop-pop-pop, silence, pop-pop-pop, silence’ - propagate pathological information within brain circuits. If you replace that instead with a constant ‘pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop,’ you have erased that pathological information,” said Warren Grill, the study's lead investigator.
The Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Aberdeen University Medical School, in Aberdeen, U.K., has recently discovered that over-exposure to pesticides could lead to Parkinson’s disease. Researchers evaluated data concerning 959 people with Parkinson's or Parkinson's-like syndromes. The evaluation was based on a questionnaire focusing on the levels of pesticide and mineral exposure. The results showed that people who were exposed to low-levels of pesticides were 13% more likely to have Parkinson's compared to people who had never been exposed. People exposed to high levels of pesticides were 41% more vulnerable to the condition.
Research conducted by Peter Piper, a professor at the University of Sheffield, showed that sodium benzoate, a food and beverage preservative, could lead to Parkinson’s disease. The research showed that sodium benzoate disrupts the ability of mitochondria – the 'power stations' of a cell – to contain the oxygen leaks that create free radicals. Several studies have already linked free radicals to serious illnesses and the process of aging. “I suspect that it does not increase production of free radicals so that levels are going up dramatically. And the body has very successful systems for mopping up 99% of free radicals. But it is that 1% that could be the problem. Over the longer term, this is a major component of why we age and why we progressively lose function,” said Professor Piper.
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