The Arch

The arch and Holmes Hunter Academic Building on North Campus (Photo/Caroline Barnes)

The University of Georgia is to receive $5 million in government money for Parkinson's research as part of the omnibus spending bill agreed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on March 15, according to a Thursday press release from the University.

The funding will supplement UGA's commitment to brain research and neurological diseases by supporting new buildings and equipment for the Johnny Isakson Center for Brain Science and Neurological Disorders.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative ailment that affects the central nervous system and causes tremors, muscular rigidity, and difficulties walking and communicating, among other things. The treatment of nerve injury gets increasingly complicated as time goes on.

“We’ve been able to diagnose Parkinson’s for more than 200 years, but we still don’t have a treatment that can cure the disease or even stop its progression,” Anumantha Kanthasamy, the first John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Parkinson’s Research disease said in the press release. “Over the last two decades, we have identified mutations in a handful of genes that have been linked to Parkinson’s, but that only accounts for about 10% of cases. For the other 90%, we don’t know the cause. Epidemiological studies indicate that exposure to certain chemicals or heavy metals can increase risk, so we’re trying to understand how that exposure predisposes patients for Parkinson’s.”

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