Blanche A. Paul Foundation supports Parkinson’s disease research at DZNE

Bonn, April 10th, 2012. The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is pleased to announce a generous donation from the Blanche A. Paul Foundation to support research on the molecular mechanisms of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease. The funded work covers two years, beginning in 2011. It is being conducted in the laboratory of Prof. Donato Di Monte in Bonn, focusing on the relationship between intracellular calcium homeostasis and dopaminergic cell injury.

Prof. Dr. Dino Di Monte, © DZNE/
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“I am delighted that the Blanche A. Paul Foundation is supporting our research with this grant”, Donato Di Monte said. “If successful, these studies would have significant implications for the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.” 

Dopaminergic neurons are highly vulnerable to cell death in Parkinson’s disease, and their demise underlies the debilitating motor symptoms developed by patients with this disease. The project will test the hypothesis that calcium elevations play an important role in damaging dopaminergic cells and that neuroprotection can be achieved by buffering levels of intraneuronal calcium. 

“After meeting with Professor Di Monte several times, I was very impressed by the description of the DZNE and the advanced research projects carried out in his laboratory. This project is one of the best possible uses of our grant program. I am looking forward to visiting the DZNE  in September, 2012”, said Jon Paul. 

The Blanche A. Paul Foundation was created in 2008 by Jon D. Paul in memory of his mother who bravely fought Parkinson’s disease for 25 years, and who ultimately succumbed to the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

The DZNE’s mission is to unravel the causes and develop new therapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It provides a highly interactive environment that brings together experts in different fields of experimental and clinical neuroscience.

Dr. Dirk Förger
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Press Spokesperson
+49 (0)228 / 43302-260
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