Navigation Links
Stress takes its toll in Parkinson's disease
Date:11/10/2010

CHICAGO --- We all know that living a stressful lifestyle can take its toll, making us age faster and making us more susceptible to the cold going around the office.

The same appears to be true of neurons in the brain. According to a new Northwestern Medicine study published Nov. 10 in the journal Nature, dopamine-releasing neurons in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra lead a lifestyle that requires lots of energy, creating stress that could lead to the neurons' premature death. Their death causes Parkinson's disease.

"Why this small group of neurons dies in Parkinson's disease is the core question we struggled with," says lead author D. James Surmeier, the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our research provides a potential answer by showing this small group of neurons uses a metabolically expensive strategy to do its job. This 'lifestyle' choice stresses the neurons' mitochondria and elevates the production of superoxide and free radicals molecules closely linked to aging, cellular dysfunction and death."

The good news is preclinical research shows this stress can be controlled with a drug already approved for human use. By preventing calcium entry, the drug isradipine reduced the mitochondrial stress in dopamine-releasing neurons to the levels seen in neurons not affected by the disease.

Northwestern Medicine scientists currently are conducting a clinical trial to find out if isradipine can be used safely and is tolerated by patients with Parkinson's. Isradipine is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of high blood pressure.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States, second only to Alzheimer's disease. The average age of diagnosis is near 60. More than 1 million Americans currently have Parkinson's disease, and this number is rising as the population ages. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease include rigidity, slowness of movement and tremors. No treatment currently is known to prevent or slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Although most cases of Parkinson's disease have no known genetic link, Surmeier's study in mice showed that the mitochondrial stress in dopamine-releasing neurons was worsened in a genetic model of early-onset Parkinson's disease, suggesting a similar mechanism in rare familial forms of the disease and the more common forms.

Everyone loses dopamine-releasing neurons with age, Surmeier noted. "By lowering their metabolic stress level, we should be able to make dopamine-releasing neurons live longer and delay the onset of Parkinson's disease," he said. "For individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, the hope is that this drug can slow disease progression, giving symptomatic therapies a broader window in which to work."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University professor stresses links between US Navy sonar and whale strandings
2. Exposing chicks to maternal stress leads to long-term reproductive success
3. Stress may make you itch
4. In child care, relationships with caregivers key to childrens stress levels
5. Children distressed by family fighting have higher stress hormones
6. Understanding how oxidative stress impairs endothelial progenitor cell function
7. Stress disrupts human thinking, but the brain can bounce back
8. Stress may hasten the growth of melanoma tumors
9. Unexplained chest pain can be due to stress
10. New and unexpected mechanism identified how the brain responds to stress
11. HIV-1 protease inhibitor induced oxidative stress in pancreatic B-cells: thymoquinone protection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys ... founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned ... of the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology ... of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of ... to the company. Dr. Bready served as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA ... Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a ... STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to ... medical community, has closed its Series A funding round, ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis ... need to meet our current goals," stated Matthew ... runway to complete validation on the current projects in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s ... conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials ...
Breaking Biology Technology: