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2014 Fall Highlights of Hope

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PARKINSON’S AND DEPRESSION: MAKING THE CONNECTIONS WHEN PEOPLE THINK OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE, THEY THINK OF THE PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS, BUT ACCORDING TO VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE RESEARCH SCIENTIST DR. LENA BRUNDIN, THE PSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS CAN BE THE MOST DEBILITATING. Dr. Lena Brundin, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and head of the Laboratory of Behavioral Medicine at Van Andel Research Institute. Psychiatric Symptoms Common “It’s been known that Parkinson’s patients have psychiatric non-motor symptoms such as depression, but the movement issues are easier for neurologists to assess and easier for patients to talk about,“ Brundin said. Brundin’s experience both as a clinician and biomedical researcher gives her unique insight into how inflammation might play a role in depression in Parkinson’s patients. The Role of Inflammation Inflammation is a physical response in tissues that takes place when the immune system is activated. In people with Parkinson’s, psychiatric symptoms can become chronic partially due to damage in the brain related to the disease. “It is not known completely if the inflammation in Parkinson’s disease is caused because of nerve cells in the brain dying or if inflammation is killing 333 Bostwick Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 the cells,” said Brundin. “But we do know that there is a direct connection to inflammation in Parkinson’s and clinical depression.” There is Still Much to Discover Brundin believes lifting the stigma of depression among Parkinson’s patients and funding research into the psychiatric effects of anti-inflammatory medications might bring about a shift in how depression and Parkinson’s disease is approached. “In the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the number of researchers looking at the connection between Parkinson’s, inflammation in the brain and depression; however there is still so much left to discover.” Because of your generous support of our mission, scientists such as Dr. Lena Brundin can continue to engage in groundbreaking research that has a direct impact on how we diagnose and treat diseases such as Parkinson’s. Yes! I want to support life-saving research and innovative science education at Van Andel Institute. Name: ________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________ City: _______________________ State ____ Zip_______ Phone: ________________________________________ Email: _________________________________________ 0 0 Other Amount $________ Check Please make payable to Van Andel Institute Credit Card Please circle one MasterCard AmEx Discover Visa Credit Card Number: _____________________________ Expiration: ___________________ CVV: _____________ Signature: _____________________________________ Please repeat my gift monthly. (Credit card required)

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