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New treatment targeting versatile protein may protect brain cells in Parkinson's disease
Date:5/16/2014

Nilsson, however, believes that the number of targets for future treatments is increasing as we learn more and more about the complex effects of PD on many different types of cells in the brain.

"The motor improvements we have seen in mice are disproportionately large compared to the recovery of dopamine levels. We believe this is because the treatment has protected the brain against a series of indirect consequences triggered by the Parkinson-like lesion. For example, we know today that a loss of dopamine causes the target neurons to lose synapses, and also alters both neural pathways and non-neuronal cells in the brain. Since the Sigma-1 receptor is widely expressed in many cell types, the treatment could intervene in many of these damaging processes ".

The treatment was shown to be significantly more effective when started at the beginning of the most aggressive phase of dopamine cell death. As a future potential therapy for Parkinson's disease, this treatment would therefore need to be started as soon as possible after diagnosis in order to deliver maximum impact.

"In order to accelerate a possible clinical translation of our findings, we will now seek further evidence in support of this type of treatment. We are now discussing various opportunities with different collaborating partners, and we will try to procure funding for clinical studies in Parkinsons disease as soon as possible", concludes M. Angela Cenci Nilsson.


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Contact: M. Angela Cenci Nilsson
Angela.Cenci_Nilsson@med.lu.se
46-462-221-431
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

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