Class of 2024Los Angeles, California
- "The role of recent technological advancements in treating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease" with mentor Ankita (Apr. 12, 2023)
The role of recent technological advancements in treating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Started Oct. 26, 2022
Abstract or project description
Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders which is present in approximately 2-3% of the population. Although males and elderly people are at a higher risk of developing PD, there are environmental effects which could increase the likelihood of the disease. Defining symptoms include bradykinesia and cardinal motor functions; however, non-motor symptoms such as mood disorders or irregular sleeping patterns can occur many years before physical signs begin to appear. Parkinson’s is in part caused by dying dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, which leads to a striatal dopamine deficiency, resulting in several of the symptoms that have been previously described. Currently, there is no cure for this progressive disorder, and though there have been promising drug-related treatments, various technologies have greatly impacted the progression of the disorder. The most prevalent non-pharmacological technology that is being used today is Deep Brain Stimulation, a treatment that greatly improved PD patients' quality of life by stimulating areas of the brain that have previously lost function. Outside of this method of treatment, new technologies are constantly being developed that lessen the extent of symptoms. For example, there is a newly created electronic wristwatch that vibrates as a method of counteracting hand tremors. The paper presented here explores the biological mechanisms behind Parkinson's Disease (PD) as well as currently implemented technologies used to manage PD symptoms. I will also describe new technologies, currently being developed, that show promise for the future of PD treatment.