Research Achievements  
Brain's Abnormal "Hyperdirect Pathways" Underlie Parkinson's Impairment

A team of neuro-electrophysiologists at the Graduate Institute of Physiology and NTU Hospital achieved a major breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease. The researchers discovered that abnormalities in the "hyperdirect pathways" of the brain's basal ganglia circuitry are responsible for the impairment of motor skills suffered by Parkinson's patients. This significant finding was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (October 1, 2014).

Furthermore, the scientists also found that dopamine replacement therapy, the standard treatment for Parkinson's, could be targeted directly to the hyperdirect pathways, potentially providing a more specific treatment for improving movement while avoiding negative side effects. Working with the NTU Hospital's Centre for Parkinson's and Movement Disorders, the team hopes to develop a more efficient treatment to help all patients suffering from the disease.