Scientists have long noted that people suffering from Parkinsons disease commonly exhibit a specific personality type characterized by, among other things, a lower-than-average tendency to seek out new experiences. In explanation, investigators suggested that this trait was rooted in an inability to reap the pleasurable rewards of increased dopamine levels normally brought about by new stimuli because the disease destroys the neurotransmitter. Previous studies of personality and dopamine activity in Parkinsons patients involved subjects receiving treatment for their disease. Now, for the first time, scientists have examined the link between personality and Parkinsons in patients yet to receive medication. The report, published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that, in fact, dopamine is not involved in regulating the low-novelty-seeking trait associated with Parkinsons.
Valtteri Kaasinen of the University of Turku in Finland and colleagues studied 61 patients who had been diagnosed with Parkinsons within the past five years but were not taking medication and compared them to a control group of 45 healthy subjects. Using personality questionnaires, the scientists compared traits such as novelty seeking and harm avoidance between the two groups. Unlike previously reported studies involving medicated patients, the correlation between low novelty seeking and Parkinsons was not highly significant. The authors suggest the previously demonstrated link may have been due in part to the medication administered to treat the disease. Parkinsons patients did, however, score significantly higher than control subjects for the harm avoidance personality trait, often associated with anxiety and depression. But the authors note that this trait is not disease-specific and "possibly reflects a psychological response to a chronic disease."
The team next investigated the explicit role of dopamine in mediating the personality of a Parkinsons patient. Using positron emission tomography (PET), the scientists studied the uptake of radioactively labeled L-DOPA (a precursor to dopamine) in the brains of 47 of the Parkinsons patients. Participants with high scores for harm avoidance demonstrated increased uptake of L-DOPA in the brains right caudate region. But patients with low scores for novelty seeking did not show a similar reaction to L-DOPA. "Although the results of this study are not in disagreement with the concept of low-novelty-seeking personality type in Parkinsons disease," the authors conclude, "the personality type does not seem to be dopamine dependent."
Sarah Graham | Scientific American
Inselspital: Fewer CT scans needed after cerebral bleeding
20.03.2019 | Universitätsspital Bern
Building blocks for new medications: the University of Graz is seeking a technology partner
19.03.2019 | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Information Technology