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New discovery with marmosets helps in Parkinson’s research

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has made a new discovery to help forward possible treatments against Parkinson's Disease.

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Biomedical Research Institute has made a new discovery to help forward possible treatments against Parkinson's Disease.

The disorder affects a person's nervous system; common symptoms include tremors, stiff muscles and slurred speech. Texas Biomed associate scientist Marcel Daadi said their recent study involving marmosets is helping them better understand this complex disease.

Researchers used a neuro-toxin in marmosets that mimic disease symptoms and tracked the monkeys with a Fitbit-like device. They found that the marmosets not only exhibited the classic motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease but the non-motor symptoms, such as sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment.

"Now that you can model these non-motor symptoms, we really want to highlight it to people or scientists who try to develop therapies for these non-motor symptoms. You will be able to track them in an easy way and efficient way," said Daadi.

Dr. Daadi's work is published in the journal PLOS ONE.