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By Tonia Moore and Tonia Moore,SUN STAFF | October 9, 2003
Scientific research wouldn't necessarily suggest the basis for a love story to many people. But exploring the question of whether love is magical chemistry or just basic biochemistry was an idea that caught the fancy of the makers of the indie film Dopamine. "It's geeky, I know," co-writer and director Mark Decena says sheepishly. "That dialectic of two opposing views of what love [is] -- that conflict -- I just felt there could be a story in that." So did the Sundance Film Institute, which invited Decena and co-writer Timothy Breitenbach to work on the script at its screenwriting lab. The result was their debut feature, which opens tomorrow in Baltimore, Washington and eight other cities as part of the Sundance Film Series.
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2012
Sometimes it's easy for Vincent Vono to feel down about having to live with Parkinson's disease. The disease has snatched his independence and sense of a normal life. The 76-year-old stopped driving last year as his motor skills slowed. He doesn't cook much because it is too exhausting to clean up afterward. Even a short walk across his tiny apartment is a task some days. But for all the disease has taken away from Vono, it has fostered and strengthened a love for art that first developed when he was a boy. Painting is the one thing that still comes easily to Vono.
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NEWS
By NEWSDAY | February 22, 1996
Scientists have found that smoking tends to reduce levels of a key enzyme in the brain that is important to the "reward system" linked by scientists to addiction.The enzyme, called MAO-B or monoamine oxidase-B, breaks down dopamine, a brain chemical that acts as a messenger between nerve cells. Dopamine is one of several chemicals that have been linked by scientists to emotion and arousal, the brain's reward system.Dopamine is also linked to controlling movement, scientists say. When dopamine levels drop in Parkinson's disease, for instance, a patient's symptoms of muscle tremor and rigidity worsen.
NEWS
By NEWSDAY | September 28, 2005
NEW YORK -- A novel gene therapy technique is safe and effective at staving off worsening symptoms of Parkinson's disease, according to the first scientific review of a dozen patients who have received the treatment over the last two years. The patients are in advanced stages of the illness and were no longer responding to medicines when they signed on for the experimental therapy. On Monday, one of the study investigators, Dr. Andrew Feigin of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., told colleagues at a meeting on movement disorders in San Diego that there have been no problems with the technique, and that patients had a 27 percent improvement in symptoms.
NEWS
By Mary Knudson | October 25, 1991
Scientists have located a gene for a brain protein that ordinarily allows moments of pleasure but lies defenseless in the pathway of cocaine, letting brain cells have a field day spewing out the pleasurable feelings drug users describe as a "high."The discovery is considered a leap in understanding the biology of how a major addicting drug works."This is a milestone in terms of our understanding of the brain and its relation to drug dependence," said Dr. Roy Pickens, director of the Addiction Research Center of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NEWS
By NEWSDAY | September 28, 2005
NEW YORK -- A novel gene therapy technique is safe and effective at staving off worsening symptoms of Parkinson's disease, according to the first scientific review of a dozen patients who have received the treatment over the last two years. The patients are in advanced stages of the illness and were no longer responding to medicines when they signed on for the experimental therapy. On Monday, one of the study investigators, Dr. Andrew Feigin of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., told colleagues at a meeting on movement disorders in San Diego that there have been no problems with the technique, and that patients had a 27 percent improvement in symptoms.
FEATURES
By Jan Stuart and Jan Stuart,NEWSDAY | October 10, 2003
Dopamine refers to the chemical in our bodies that enables us to feel the rush of pleasure when we fall in love. It is one of the buzzwords in the debate at the crux of Mark Decena's debut film: Is love some magical frisson exchanged by two people, or is it the product of a neurochemical reaction in the brain? Rand (John Livingston) has had the scientific alternative drilled into his head by his father. He goes at romance like he does everything else, analytically. A computer animator by trade, he has also been distracted by the creation of a voice-activated bird named Koy Koy which he hopes will be the next big thing in learning tools.
NEWS
By New York Times | December 26, 1990
Researchers have been unable to confirm a widely publicized study linking a gene to a predisposition to alcoholism.The finding does not necessarily challenge the idea that genetic predisposition is a significant risk factor for alcoholism. But the researchers said it suggests that more work will be needed to identify any gene or genes that may be at fault.In April, researchers reported that defects in a gene involved in the transmission of messages between brain cells strongly predisposed people to become alcoholics.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | November 12, 2004
Is tobacco about to meet its match? New insights into how nicotine behaves in the body are paving the way for better drugs to help smokers beat their addiction, researchers reported this week at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' annual meeting in Baltimore. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of the nation's 46 million smokers say they want to quit. But fewer than 5 percent of those who go cold turkey manage to stay nicotine-free.
FEATURES
By Gerri Kobren | January 29, 1991
For many viewers, the movie "Awakenings" is a powerfu message about the indomitability of the human spirit, even when locked up in a body immobilized by Parkinson's disease.For people who actually have Parkinson's disease, the movie speaks more personally. "I tended to be a little depressed by it," says EdBlazek, 72. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease eight years ago, Mr. Blazek, of White Marsh, is president of the Parkinsonian Society of Greater Baltimore.Although the movie takes some dramatic liberties, it presents an awful historic reality: In the wake of the great influenza epidemic of 1918, a kind of sleeping sickness -- known scientifically as encephalitis lethargica -- swept through the world.
NEWS
By Michael Stroh and Michael Stroh,SUN STAFF | November 12, 2004
Is tobacco about to meet its match? New insights into how nicotine behaves in the body are paving the way for better drugs to help smokers beat their addiction, researchers reported this week at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' annual meeting in Baltimore. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of the nation's 46 million smokers say they want to quit. But fewer than 5 percent of those who go cold turkey manage to stay nicotine-free.
FEATURES
By Jan Stuart and Jan Stuart,NEWSDAY | October 10, 2003
Dopamine refers to the chemical in our bodies that enables us to feel the rush of pleasure when we fall in love. It is one of the buzzwords in the debate at the crux of Mark Decena's debut film: Is love some magical frisson exchanged by two people, or is it the product of a neurochemical reaction in the brain? Rand (John Livingston) has had the scientific alternative drilled into his head by his father. He goes at romance like he does everything else, analytically. A computer animator by trade, he has also been distracted by the creation of a voice-activated bird named Koy Koy which he hopes will be the next big thing in learning tools.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tonia Moore and Tonia Moore,SUN STAFF | October 9, 2003
Scientific research wouldn't necessarily suggest the basis for a love story to many people. But exploring the question of whether love is magical chemistry or just basic biochemistry was an idea that caught the fancy of the makers of the indie film Dopamine. "It's geeky, I know," co-writer and director Mark Decena says sheepishly. "That dialectic of two opposing views of what love [is] -- that conflict -- I just felt there could be a story in that." So did the Sundance Film Institute, which invited Decena and co-writer Timothy Breitenbach to work on the script at its screenwriting lab. The result was their debut feature, which opens tomorrow in Baltimore, Washington and eight other cities as part of the Sundance Film Series.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2002
Scientists who gave the club drug Ecstasy to squirrel monkeys and baboons found evidence that it produces a type of brain damage seen in people who suffer from Parkinson's disease. In primate experiments at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, researchers discovered the damage after administering doses similar to those taken by young people during a single, all-night "rave" party. Destruction to nerve endings was seen in cells that secrete dopamine, a chemical needed for healthy motor function.
NEWS
By NEWSDAY | February 22, 1996
Scientists have found that smoking tends to reduce levels of a key enzyme in the brain that is important to the "reward system" linked by scientists to addiction.The enzyme, called MAO-B or monoamine oxidase-B, breaks down dopamine, a brain chemical that acts as a messenger between nerve cells. Dopamine is one of several chemicals that have been linked by scientists to emotion and arousal, the brain's reward system.Dopamine is also linked to controlling movement, scientists say. When dopamine levels drop in Parkinson's disease, for instance, a patient's symptoms of muscle tremor and rigidity worsen.
NEWS
By Mary Knudson | October 25, 1991
Scientists have located a gene for a brain protein that ordinarily allows moments of pleasure but lies defenseless in the pathway of cocaine, letting brain cells have a field day spewing out the pleasurable feelings drug users describe as a "high."The discovery is considered a leap in understanding the biology of how a major addicting drug works."This is a milestone in terms of our understanding of the brain and its relation to drug dependence," said Dr. Roy Pickens, director of the Addiction Research Center of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2002
Scientists who gave the club drug Ecstasy to squirrel monkeys and baboons found evidence that it produces a type of brain damage seen in people who suffer from Parkinson's disease. In primate experiments at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, researchers discovered the damage after administering doses similar to those taken by young people during a single, all-night "rave" party. Destruction to nerve endings was seen in cells that secrete dopamine, a chemical needed for healthy motor function.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2012
Sometimes it's easy for Vincent Vono to feel down about having to live with Parkinson's disease. The disease has snatched his independence and sense of a normal life. The 76-year-old stopped driving last year as his motor skills slowed. He doesn't cook much because it is too exhausting to clean up afterward. Even a short walk across his tiny apartment is a task some days. But for all the disease has taken away from Vono, it has fostered and strengthened a love for art that first developed when he was a boy. Painting is the one thing that still comes easily to Vono.
FEATURES
By Gerri Kobren | January 29, 1991
For many viewers, the movie "Awakenings" is a powerfu message about the indomitability of the human spirit, even when locked up in a body immobilized by Parkinson's disease.For people who actually have Parkinson's disease, the movie speaks more personally. "I tended to be a little depressed by it," says EdBlazek, 72. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease eight years ago, Mr. Blazek, of White Marsh, is president of the Parkinsonian Society of Greater Baltimore.Although the movie takes some dramatic liberties, it presents an awful historic reality: In the wake of the great influenza epidemic of 1918, a kind of sleeping sickness -- known scientifically as encephalitis lethargica -- swept through the world.
NEWS
By New York Times | December 26, 1990
Researchers have been unable to confirm a widely publicized study linking a gene to a predisposition to alcoholism.The finding does not necessarily challenge the idea that genetic predisposition is a significant risk factor for alcoholism. But the researchers said it suggests that more work will be needed to identify any gene or genes that may be at fault.In April, researchers reported that defects in a gene involved in the transmission of messages between brain cells strongly predisposed people to become alcoholics.
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