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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. To combat this loss and the related motor symptoms that follow, patients are most commonly treated with the drug levodopa. Levodopa is transformed in the brain into dopamine and considerably improves the motor symptoms of PD. Unfortunately, after repeated use of levodopa, the vast majority of patients eventually develop levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID), involuntary movements that can be highly disabling and reduce overall quality of life in people with PD.
A number of hypotheses for the cause and/or expression of dyskinesia are currently explored by the PD research community, including drug-induced changes to the underlying brain circuitry of the basal ganglia, problems with the pulsatile nature of current levodopa therapy and the potential role of angiogenesis and the blood-brain barrier.
Areas of Interest
Priorities for 2014
The Foundation is focusing its efforts on leveraging progress made in 2012 to:
- Continue to promote dyskinesia research as a priority for ongoing and new investment
- Explore novel dyskinesia-specific targets
- Assuring that therapies modulating already validated dyskinesia-specific targets reach the late pre-clinical or clinical development
- Supporting projects aiming to improve delivery of levodopa as a means to alleviate motor complications
- Promoting the availability of novel and validated dyskinesia tools for use, such as the Unified Dyskinesia Rating Scale
Proposals may be submitted by U.S. and non-U.S. entities, public and private non-profit entities, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the federal government and for-profit entities. Post-doctoral students or fellows are not eligible to apply as principal or co-principal investigators for this program.
MJFF intends to fund multiple proposals as part of this initiative. Invited applicants may request a project up to one year in duration and $125,000 in total costs. Indirect costs of up to 10% of direct costs are allowed.