Neuroscientist Aryn Gittis, an associate professor of biological sciences in the Mellon College of Science and member of the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute and the CNBC, has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to advance her research on new treatment methods for Parkinson’s disease. Under the grant, Gittis will collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Jing Wang. They will test electrical stimulation protocols Gittis developed at Carnegie Mellon for therapeutic effects in Parkinson’s models. A current treatment for some patients with Parkinson’s disease is deep brain stimulation, where the patient undergoes surgery to implant electrodes in their brain. When the electrodes stimulate neurons in the basal ganglia, the patient gets relief from their symptoms. But, as soon as the stimulation stops, the symptoms come back. “The fact that the symptoms come back when you turn the electrodes off means we are not fixing the problem, just masking it,” Gittis said. “We’d like to figure out a way to fix the brain so it doesn’t always need the stimulation.” Find out more.