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A new study on the early stages of Parkinson's disease

A new study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham supports the premise that inflammation is associated with Parkinson's disease early in its progression.

The findings, published online today in Movement Disorders, support the conclusion that central inflammation is observed early in the Parkinson's disease process, is independent of disease treatment, and correlates with cognitive characteristics and certain peripheral markers of inflammation.

"An association between inflammation and Parkinson's is well known, but a fundamental question remains unanswered," said Talene Yacoubian, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at the Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. 'Does inflammation play a role in the onset of Parkinson's disease or is it a by-product of the disease itself? Our results show that inflammation is present in the early stages of the disease."

Yacoubian's team enrolled 58 people with newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease.


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