In this interview, Michael Zigmond, PhD, Professor of Neurology
at theUniversity of Pittsburgh, discusses why he became involved with studying Parkinson’s disease and his research on exercise and Parkinson’s disease which he will be presenting at this year's AAN conference.
When asked about how he began his research in Parkinson's disease, Zigmond said, "I became interested in catecholamines, which includes dopamine and norepinephrine primarily, as a graduate student. There was evidence that they were affected by stress and I was interested in looking at the adaptive effects of stress."
It was upon collaborating with colleague when Zigmond explained how he "discovered that... physicial exercise was what we would call 'neuroprotective.' If you had animals exercise before you expose them to a toxin like 6-Hydroxydopamine, the effects of the toxin on the animals' behavior and on the dopamine neurons themselves was reduced."