Healthy Living: Lab wins grant in hopes of uncovering Parkinson's breakthrough
An estimated 500,000 to one million people are living with Parkinson's diseases in the United States, and while there is treatment there is no cure for the disorder. One area lab recently received a special grant for research. Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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A team of scientists in Jamaica, Queens are working on what they hope will be a breakthrough in the earlier diagnosis and care of Parkinson's disease.
“If you catch it early, you have a much better chance of dealing with it,” said Dr. Simon Moller of St. John’s University.
The research is made possible through a $900,000 grant. The Research Council of Norway awarded the prize to Moller, a professor of biological sciences.
Currently there is no cure for Parkinson's, a degenerative neurological disorder. Symptoms include tremors, muscle stiffness and dementia.
Though there is an increased awareness, Moller says very little advancement has been made since the 1970s.
“I think the reason for that is that it is a complex disease. It's hard to tackle and of course it's not something that everybody gets," says Moller. "Cancer, for instance, one in three of us will probably get cancer in our lifetime. There's a lot of research on it. There are many different types of cancer that are very well-defined. Parkinson's is a big, big picture and it's not what you see every day.”
Through the grant, Moller was able to secure four full-time scientists and the necessary equipment needed for the research.
“The dream of all of us is to try and contribute to helping patients with this disease. That's the ultimate aim. That's why we get up in the morning, that's why we come here and that's why we come here weekends," says Moller. "I think, you know, it's not just us doing this research of course. We are one player of many.”
These players work together for a common goal.