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How can we use worms to understand and develop treatments Parkinson's Disease?

Air Date: November 23, 2022 | Length: 41:54 | Download the transcript 



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Dr. Lorraine Kalia

Episode Description

Parkinson's disease affects over 100,000 Canadians, and that number is growing each year. The economic burden is estimated to be $1.2 billion in direct and indirect costs associated with the neurodegenerative disease–for which we have no cure.

Could worms be the answer to developing potential therapies? Caenorhabditis elegans is a small round worm that has been used to model Parkinson's disease. These worms share 40% of their genes with humans and have dopamine-producing neurons, the neurotransmitter that's dysregulated in the disease.

Dr. Lorraine Kalia's research looks at testing different compounds in C. Elegans and how it can lead to a better understanding of Parkinson's disease and new therapeutic targets. The best part: some of these compounds are already approved for use in humans. Through Dr. Kalia's research we may be able to repurpose these compounds for the neurodegenerative condition.

Dr. Lorraine Kalia  

About Dr. Lorraine Kalia

Lorraine Kalia, MD, PhD, FRCPC is an Associate Professor in the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute, University Health Network. She also holds appointments with the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto.

As a neurologist, she specializes in Parkinson's disease and related movement disorders at the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic and the Edmond J. Safra Program at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network.

Combined with her clinical expertise, she and her research team are focused on the critical molecular mechanisms responsible for neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and identifying therapeutic agents that can modulate or target these molecular mediators of neurodegeneration.

Want to learn more about Dr. Kalia and her work?

Produced by: Twayne Pereira | Host: Christian Coté | Sound Engineer: 217 Audio