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
(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.
The 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
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.
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
current ammunition against PD include drugs and lifestyle changes. Levodopa
selegiline, are amantadine some the commonly prescribed drugs for PD. Surgical
interventions such as deep brain stimulation have been attempted.
American Chemical Society