For many years, researchers have known that the movement problems associated with Parkinson's disease result from a loss of neurons that produce a nerve-signaling chemical called dopamine in one part of the brain. A new study suggests that Parkinson's disease (PD) also affects nerve endings that produce a related chemical, norepinephrine, in the heart. The finding improves understanding about how Parkinson's disease develops and may lead to a way of predicting the disorder and possibly even preventing it. This Vidyya issue contains a summary of the new research and a fact sheet on the disease.
In other research news, in an effort to "glue" together large groups of scientists pursuing some of the biggest unsolved problems in biomedicine today, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has provided $5 million for the first of five years to a consortium of basic scientists called the Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AFCS). NIGMS anticipates spending a projected total of $25 million on the project over the course of five years.
In drug news, AstraZeneca announced today the approval of Atacand HCT ® (candesartan cilexetil- hydrochlorothiazide) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for second-line treatment of hypertension. Atacand HCT combines the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) Atacand ® with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide providing physicians with another treatment option for those patients who are unable to control their hypertension with a single agent.
And finally, in infectious disease news, the World Health Organization said Tuesday that officials in Sierra Leone have been put on alert to prevent a yellow fever epidemic in neighboring Liberia spreading across the border. A 4-year-old child was thought to have arrived from Sierra Leone with the disease, but died before that could be confirmed. Vidyya has been bringing you up-to-date on these epidemics since early August. There is no sign that they are abating.
The articles in today's Vidyya are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.