Does Parkinson’s disease start in the nose?

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Author: Sarah McGrathPublished: 18 November 2021

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An international team led by the University of Ottawa in Canada will study whether the scent-processing nerves inside the nose may play a part in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers will explore potential connections between inflammation, environmental exposures in the nasal cavity, odour processing centres in the brain and Parkinson’s-related genes.

The scientists hope that if the study indicates that Parkinson’s starts in the nose, early signs of the condition could potentially be detected sooner.

This research, which will use human and animal models, has been made possible by a US $9m grant from the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative, which aims to improve understanding of the causes of the condition. “This grant will allow us to explore an understudied but important aspect of Parkinson’s, which could lead to new approaches for early treatment and prevention,” said Professor Michael Schlossmacher, team leader of the study.


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