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New Finding Gives Hope To Parkinson’s Disease Patients

By Sam Lehman | Jun 20, 2013 09:21 AM EDT

New finding gives hope to Parkinson’s disease patients
New finding gives hope to Parkinson’s disease patients (Photo : Reuters)

An experimental study from the researchers of Medical College of Wisconsin on mice with Parkinson's disease symptoms shows promising results in preventing the onset of the disease by treating with an antioxidant.

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) have found a revolutionary method that could help people suffering from Parkinson's disease. The study was conducted on a specific type of transgenic mouse called LRRK2R1441G, but with further research and trials, researchers hope to expand this treatment for humans. The study was conducted by Brian Dranka, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Balaraman Kalyanaraman, Ph.D., Harry R. and Angeline E. Quadracci, Professor in Parkinson's Research, chairman and professor of biophysics, and director of the MCW Free Radical Research Center.

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Currently, more than a million Americans live with Parkinson's disease with an addition of 60,000 diagnosed cases each year. Overall, up to ten million people suffer from the disease worldwide, according to Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The report says that men are one and a half times more at risk of developing the disease than women. According to the report, the total cost for the treatments and the inability to work due to the disease comes up to $25 billion each year in the United States. One in every 500 people suffers from Parkinson's disease, according to UCB, the global biopharmaceutical company.

In the study, researchers found diapocynin, an artificial molecule derived from a naturally occurring compound (apocynin), significantly protected the neurobehavioral function of mice. The mice used in the study developed Parkinson's symptoms ten months after birth. Researchers started treating these mice with diapocynin as early as twelve weeks.

The treatment stopped the imbalance of motor coordination in mice, which was expected to begin in the later stages. "These early findings are encouraging, but in this model, we still do not know how this molecule exerts neuroprotective action. Further studies are necessary to discover the exact mode of action of the diaopocynin and other molecules with a similar structure," Dr. Kalyanaraman said in a statement.

Researchers noted that the findings could be helpful to patients with the disease and with further research, better treatments and therapies can be developed.

The study appears May edition of Neuroscience Letters.

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