Alan Hoffman, shown with his wife, Nancy, at their home in Dumfries, Va., found that his Parkinson's symptoms improved when he took a cancer drug. Claire Harbage for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage for NPR

Oliver Sacks was an author, physician and a professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine. Chris McGrath/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chris McGrath/Getty Images

In this colorized image of a brain cell from a person with Alzheimer's, the red tangle in the yellow cell body is a toxic tangle of misfolded "tau" proteins, adjacent to the cell's green nucleus. Thomas Deerinck/NCMIR/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption Thomas Deerinck/NCMIR/Science Source

The Allen Institute for Brain Science hosted its first BigNeuron Hackathon in Beijing earlier this month. Similar events are planned for the U.S. and U.K. Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Participants in a boxing class designed specifically for people with Parkinson's disease at Fight 2 Fitness gym in Pawtucket, R.I. Joel Hawksley for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Joel Hawksley for NPR

"Dance for PD" classes use music to temporarily ease tremors and get Parkinson's patients moving. Maggie Starbard/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Maggie Starbard/NPR

The Liftware device, shown here as an early prototype (left) and the final design, starts up automatically when it's lifted from the table. There's no "on" switch to fumble with. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ina Jaffe/NPR

Shots - Health News

A Spoon That Shakes To Counteract Hand Tremors

A young engineer working on an Army project to help stabilize weapons realized the technology could also help some Parkinson's patients with essential tasks.

Listen Loading… 4:54
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Deep brain stimulation eased Shari Finsilver's tremors, but didn't stop them entirely. Here she uses both hands to stabilize a glass of water. Marvin Shaouni for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Marvin Shaouni for NPR

President Obama has pledged millions of dollars to fuel research into understanding the workings of the human brain. Zephyr/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption Zephyr/Science Source

Submitting a DNA sample to networking company 23andMe entails spitting a saliva sample into a plastic vial. 23andMe hide caption

toggle caption 23andMe

In a study, patients with Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous-system disorder, had fewer falls after taking up Tai Chi. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor