Studying Side Effects of Parkinson’s Disease Treatments
With the assistance of a $1.33 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Christopher Bishop hopes to help individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease
Bishop, assistant professor of psychology, has received $1.33 million from the NIH to support Parkinson’s research that will focus not only on the treatment of the disease, but also the side effects of treatment.
Parkinson’s is an increasingly urgent medical concern, says Bishop. Roughly 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s; 50,000 more Americans are diagnosed with each year. “That’s only going to increase as our population ages,” Bishop says. “This is not something that’s going away.”
Bishop and his colleagues at Wayne State University’s medical school and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago hope to find a way to reduce dyskinesia – abnormal, involuntary movements that may be caused by the drugs used to treat Parkinson’s. There are very few treatments available, in part because how dyskinesia develops is still a mystery. “We are beginning to believe that dyskinesia is actually the inability to suppress motor memories as a result of the drug’s stimulation,” Bishop says.