July 20, 2007
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Luedtke earns Michael J. Fox Foundation Community Fast Track grant

If you saw actor and activist Michael J. Fox testify before Congress about research support or talk with journalist Katie Couric about his life with Parkinson’s disease, you no doubt noticed that he moved constantly. But did you know that his constant movement was not because he did not take his medication, as some critics alleged? It was because he did. Fox was exhibiting the symptoms of dyskinesias, the irreversible and disabling occurrence of involuntary movements caused by long-term use of the common Parkinson’s drug levodopa, or L-dopa. Professor of pharmacology and neuroscience Bob Luedtke has been working on compounds to prevent or treat dyskinesias for more than 10 years, and his team’s recent findings have earned them their first Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research grant.

Dr. Luedtke’s grant is supported by the Fox Foundation’s Community Fast Track Program, which annually funds one-year projects that explore novel approaches to Parkinson’s disease research. Continued funding is possible if the researchers meet specific milestones and demonstrate an emphasis on translating their initial findings into meaningful approaches for improving Parkinson’s treatments. Dr. Luedtke was one of five applicants chosen from 80 finalists to receive a Community Fast Track grant.

The new compounds that Dr. Luedtke and his team will test as potential treatments for dyskinesias have been developed at the Health Science Center in collaboration with research groups at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. UNT HSC Logo


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