Movement problems associated with Parkinson's disease may be preventable. Researchers report to have developed a novel compound called 12g that may protect mice from the motor deficits associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). This would serve as a stepping stone for future studies that can pave the way for a treatment that halts the progression of PD.
PD is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Vital cells associated with production of the neurotransmitter dopamine that are located in a part of the brain called substantia nigra die due to unknown reasons in PD. This leads to motor symptoms that starts with slight tremors and gets worse with time. PD, as of now, cannot be prevented, neither can the symptoms. An estimated 4 to 10 million people worldwide are affected by the disease.
AdvertisementThe primary goal of treatment in PD is control of symptoms. Medications mostly work by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. Though the response is satisfactory in the initial periods, they effects may wear off with time. Stooped posture, movement issues such as frozen movements, and speech difficulties may fail to respond to drugs in the long run.
A team of researchers from South Korea tried to find out a way to shield the dopamine-releasing neurons from damage. Onyou Hwang, Ki Duk Park and colleagues developed 56 compounds and tested them. One of these compounds, named '12g' was found to boost the production of proteins that protect neurons. It was found to protect mice from developing PD-like symptoms.
"Taken together, 12g was found to effectively prevent the motor deficits that are associated with PD," said the team. The results came up in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Our current ammunition against PD include drugs and lifestyle changes. Levodopa, pramipexole, selegiline, are amantadine some the commonly prescribed drugs for PD. Surgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation have been attempted.
Reference: American Chemical Society
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