IETF Funded Research 2014

2014 Funded Research

The Role of Excitotoxicity in Essential Tremor Cerebellum
The goal of this $25,000 IETF research grant is to investigate the role of excitotoxicity in the postmortem ET cerebellum. Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters. It has been a suggested approach for ET, however, there has yet to be any direct evidence that excitotoxicity plays a role in ET patients.

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Cerebello-Thalamo-Cortical Coupling in Essential Tremor: Effects of High-Frequency Cerebellar Stimulation on Brain Activity and Tremor  
Tremor is associated with abnormal activity within different brain regions, particularly the thalamus and cerebellum. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) reverses symptoms of tremor but is an invasive procedure. This $25,000 IETF research grant will assist in the study of transcranial stimulation of the cerebellum that may represent a non-invasive therapeutic option for ET patients. Transcranial stimulation (tACS) is a new technique allowing manipulation of rhythmic patterns in the brain’s cortex with externally applied electrical frequencies.

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A Feasibility Study for an Essential Tremor Brain Bank at the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders
Now in its third IETF-funded year, researchers will utilize a $35,000 IETF research grants to continue to examine the brain tissue of those with ET and other neurological disorders after death, searching for a greater understanding of how ET changes the features of the brain, and hopefully leading to more effective diagnostic tools. They will also compare the clinical findings of early-onset ET and ET beginning after age 65.

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