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

09.10.2014

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:
http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>