Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New findings on troubling side effects of Parkinson’s medication

19.07.2010
One in every 100 elderly people suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a disease of the nervous system with symptoms including stiffness and shaking.

The standard medication used to treat Parkinson’s is Levodopa, a drug that initially has major benefits but can later also produce serious side effects in the form of involuntary, jerky movements. A research group at Lund University has now found a way to study what it is in the brain that causes these side effects.

The jerky and unpredictable movements that form the side effects of the medication are known as dyskinesias. It is clear that dyskinesias are caused by long-term use of Levodopa, but researchers have been divided on the exact details of the mechanisms behind them and there has been no good way to study them in laboratory animals. This is what the Lund researchers have now developed.

“We use a harmless virus that introduces a small gene into the nerve cells. In a process involving several stages, the gene causes the nerve cells to stop producing dopamine, without destroying them”, explains Ayse Ulusoy. She has recently defended a thesis that includes these studies.

In a patient with Parkinson’s disease, the nerve cells that produce dopamine die. However, at the same time other cells in the brain also suffer changes. This makes it very difficult to find out which of these changes causes the dyskinesias.

In the new model system that Ayse and her colleagues have developed, the laboratory rats’ nerve cells otherwise function normally. This is what makes it possible to see what causes the dyskinesias, the unpleasant side effect of the Parkinson’s medication.

“We have seen that they are linked to the ‘fibre terminals’ on the nerve cells that should release dopamine. These new findings open up great opportunities to improve the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the long run”, says neurologist Gurdal Sahin.

Ayse Ulusoy and Gurdal Sahin are members of Professor Deniz Kirik’s research group at Lund University.

The group has recently published its results in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Deniz Kirik believes that the study will be of great international interest, because Parkinson’s disease exists around the world and the side effects of the medication have long been seen as a very serious problem.

For more information, please contact Deniz Kirik, +46 (0)733 822586 or deniz.kirik@med.lu.se.

Ingemar Björklund | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/29/1003432107.abstract?sid=b7e86c53-2db2-4e69-9bb7-39a56ccb4a80

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>