Inspiring Better Health

New Hope for Parkinson’s Disease

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New Hope for Parkinson’s Disease
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World Parkinson’s Day, 11th April 2017

Parkinson’s disease is caused by high levels of the protein a-synuclein, which destroys nerve cells in the brain, especially those producing dopamine. The long-held theory was that the protein spreads between neurons, also leading to the patient getting progressively worse. But new research by scientists at Technion and Harvard have uncovered a new possibility; they’ve found that instead of spreading from neuron to neuron, a-synuclein develops throughout the body at the same time. This new theory could dramatically change how patients are treated. According to Associate Professor Simone Engelender, the only current beneficial treatment is dopamine supplementation, which, while it cannot cure the disease, can at least alleviate some of the symptoms for a few years. However, more research into compounds that reduce levels of a-synuclein may result in a more effective treatment for the disease.