Parkinson’s disease is most commonly treated with levodopa, a drug which alleviates the slowing of bodily movements, called bradykinesia, found in Parkinson’s disease patients.
But the benefits of levodopa wear off as the disease progresses. The relationship between its dosage and its effectiveness becomes fuzzy, and high doses can result in dyskinesia, which are involuntary and uncontrollable movements.
To better understand the underlying reasons behind these effects, researchers from the Université de Montréal, University of Bologna, and University of Ottawa created a model of the interactions between levodopa, dopamine, and the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in Parkinson’s disease. They discuss their findings in the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing.
Researchers from Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, Japan may have unraveled a new approach that could revolutionize the treatment, prevention, and possibly reversal of the damages that could lead to Parkinson’s Disease (PD). This novel finding utilizing the cellular and zebrafish models, demonstrated how the leakage of mitochondrial dsDNA into the cytosol environment of the cell can contribute to the impairment of brain tissue of patients with PD.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and its prevalence has been projected to double over the next 30 years.
These sobering statistics and the quest for PD prognostic marker discovery inspired a team of scientists led by Prof. Hideaki Matsui to build upon previous knowledge that link mitochondrial dysfunction and lysosomal dysfunction to PD. In an interview Prof. Matsui said, “Our results showed for the first time that cytosolic dsDNA of mitochondrial origin leaking and escaping from lysosomal degradation can induce cytotoxicity both in cultured cells, as well as in zebrafish models of Parkinson’s disease.”
A new study conducted at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder have an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease later in life. The increased risk may be due to alterations in the brain’s dopamine system caused by dopamine receptor antagonists or neurobiological effects of schizophrenia.
The record-based case-control study was carried out at the University of Turku in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland. The study examined the occurrences of previously diagnosed psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in over 25,000 Finnish Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients treated in 1996-2019.
Deep brain stimulation has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms for 25 years, but limitations have led researchers to look for ways to improve the technique. This study describes the first fully implanted DBS system that uses feedback from the brain itself to fine-tune its signaling. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies (BRAIN) Initiative and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
“The novel approach taken in this small-scale feasibility study may be an important first step in developing a more refined or personalized way for doctors to reduce the problems patients with Parkinson’s disease face every day,” said Nick B. Langhals, Ph.D., program director at NINDS and team lead for the BRAIN Initiative.
Deep brain stimulation is a method of managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms by surgically implanting an electrode, a thin wire, into the brain. Traditional deep brain stimulation delivers constant stimulation to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia to help treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s. However, this approach can lead to unwanted side effects, requiring reprogramming by a trained clinician. The new method described in this study is adaptive, so that the stimulation delivered is responsive in real time to signals received from the patient’s brain.
Scientists have produced a tomato enriched in the Parkinson’s disease drug L-DOPA in what could become a new, affordable source of one of the world’s essential medicines.
The development of the genetically modified (GM) tomato has implications for developing nations where access to pharmaceutical drugs is restricted.
This novel use of tomato plants as a natural source of L-DOPA also offers benefits for people who suffer adverse effects – including nausea and behavioral complications – of chemically synthesised L-DOPA .
Tomato – was chosen as a widely cultivated crop that can be used for scaled up production and potentially offering a standardised and controlled natural source of L-DOPA .