Potential Clinical Applications For New Neuroprotection Strategies Could Slow The Progression Of The Parkinson's Disease

First Posted: Jul 21, 2016 06:49 AM EDT

The researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham discovered an interaction in neurons could contribute to Parkinson's disease. With this, there are possible drugs on development that may stop the process. 

The study was printed in the Journal of Neuroscience. It was led by Andrew B. West, Ph.D., from the center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, UAB Department of Neurology, Laura A. Volpicelli-Daley, Ph.D., and other colleagues, according to Science Daily.

The team found that the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease, which is a mutant LRRK2 kinase enzyme, could contribute to the formation of inclusions in neurons. This seems like one of the pathologies seen in Parkinson's disease. These consist of aggregated alpha-synuclein protein, which could be prevented from forming by using two LRRK2 kinase inhibitor drugs that are now being developed for clinical use. The interaction of the alpha-synuclein and the mutant LRRK2 may resolve new mechanisms and targets for neuroprotection.

The researchers explained that the results demonstrate that alpha-synuclein inclusion formation in neurons can be blocked and that novel therapeutic compounds targeting this process by preventing LRRK2 kinase activity may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease-associated pathology. On the other hand, they further explained that the potential clinical applications for novel neuroprotection strategies in LRRK2-linked Parkinson's need to be examined in other preclinical models of Parkinson's disease.

Volpicelli-Daley added that these data give them hope for the clinical potential of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors as effective therapies for Parkinson's disease. He said that the LRRK2 kinase inhibitors may prevent the spread of pathologic alpha-synuclein, not only in patients with LRRK2 mutations but also in all patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He also said that future studies to validate the safety and efficacy of the LRRK2 inhibitors will be essential before testing the inhibitors in human clinical trials.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects the movement. Its symptoms include slowness of movement, rigidity, shaking and difficulty in walking. It may also affect one's thinking and behaviors. Some of the patients may also have symptoms of emotional, sensory and sleep problems.


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