Donald Calne, D.Sc.
Donald Calne, D.Sc., is professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, where he was director of the Neurodegenerative Disorders Centre. He is chairman of the World Federation of Neurology’s Research Committee of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders and a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Parkinson Foundation in Canada. His book Within Reason: Rationality and Human Behavior was published by Random House, Inc., in 1999.
What Triggers the “Shaking Palsy”?
A pioneer of research on the disabling brain disorder that afflicts more than 500,000 Americans urges a new look at Parkinson disease’s causes, clinical features, and even definition. There is a known genetic element to Parkinson’s disease, but also much evidence for what may be called “the environmental trigger”—evidence that may be downplayed in our era of genetics, suggests Calne. He urges a search for an “event” early in life that may set in motion the destruction of dopamine-producing cells in the brain’s substantia nigra that later in life confronts us with the full-blown disorder.