Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UCLA researchers find that drug used for another disease slows progression of Parkinson's


Researchers report positive results in mouse model

A new study from UCLA found that a drug being evaluated to treat an entirely different disorder helped slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice.

The study, published in the October edition of the journal Neurotherapeutics, found that the drug, AT2101, which has also been studied for Gaucher disease, improved motor function, stopped inflammation in the brain and reduced levels of alpha-synuclein, a protein critically involved in Parkinson's.

Although the exact cause of Parkinson's is unknown, evidence points to an accumulation of alpha-synuclein, which has been found to be common to all people with the disorder. The protein is thought to destroy the neurons in the brain that make dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate a number of functions, including movement and coordination. Dopamine deficiency is associated with Parkinson's disease.

Gaucher disease is a rare genetic disorder in which the body cannot produce enough of an enzyme called β-glucocerebrosidase, or GCase. Researchers seeking genetic factors that increase people's risk for developing Parkinson's have determined that there may be a close relationship between Gaucher and Parkinson's due to a GCase gene. Mutation of this gene, which leads to decreased GCase activity in the brain, has been found to be a genetic risk factor for Parkinson's, although the majority of patients with Parkinson's do not carry mutations in the Gaucher gene.

"This is the first time a compound targeting Gaucher disease has been tested in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease and was shown to be effective," said the study's senior author, Marie-Francoise Chesselet, the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology at UCLA and director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Parkinson's Disease. "The promising findings in this study suggest that further investigation of this compound in Parkinson's disease is warranted."

In the study, the researchers used mice that were genetically engineered to make too much alpha-synuclein which, over time, led the animals to develop deficits similar to those observed in humans with Parkinson's. The researchers found that the mice's symptoms improved after they received AT2101 for four months.

The researchers also observed that AT2101 was effective in treating Parkinson's in mice even though they did not carry a mutant version of the Gaucher gene, suggesting that the compound may have a clinical effect in the broader Parkinson's population.

AT2101 is a first-generation "pharmacological chaperone" — a drug that can bind malfunctioning, mutated enzymes and lead them through the cell to their normal location, which allows the enzymes to carry on with their normal work. This was the first time that a pharmacological chaperone showed promise in a model of Parkinson's, according to Chesselet.

Parkinson's disease affects as many as 1 million Americans, and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The disorder continues to puzzle scientists. There is no cure and researchers have been unable to pin down its cause and no drug has been proven to stop the progression of the disease, which causes tremors, stiffness and other debilitating symptoms. Current Parkinson's treatments only address its symptoms.


The research was supported by Amicus Therapeutics, the UCLA Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence (NIH grant NS-P50 NS38367), and gifts to the UCLA Center for the Study of Parkinson's Disease. A complete list of authors and additional disclosures are available in the manuscript.

The Center for the Study of Parkinson's Disease is part of the UCLA Department of Neurology, which encompasses more than 26 disease-related research programs.

Mark Wheeler | Eurek Alert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>