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New Parkinson Disease Therapy Tested
February 2, 2011 18:46

Parkinson disease is a cross, born by about 3.7 million people – about 7% of those, older than 60 years. Common therapy for this disease is called levodopa (L-DOPA or L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine), which is known to increase dopamine concentrations. However, levodopa has lots of side effects and cannot be used as a drug for long periods of time. That is why a search for new therapy for the Parkinson disease is a burning issue for the mankind.

Russian biochemists from Novosibirsk Institute of Organic Chemistry (Siberian branch of Russian academy of sciences) have synthesized a substance, called I, which was shown to have anti-Parkinson activity. Trials of the substance on laboratory mice make researchers very optimistic.

During Parkinson disease part of a brain, known as substantia nigra and responsible for dopamine synthesis, gets damaged. Dopamine, among other things, is a neuromediator, providing normal motor skills. The disease reduces dopamine concentration, thus making a patient suffer from bradykinesia, slow and rigid movements, rest tremor, impaired balance and speech disturbances. Patients with Parkinson's disease often suffer from depression, because neurons of substantia nigra get damaged. Common treatment of Parkinson’s disease – L-DOPA – is a dopamine precursor, which has following side effects: disorientation, hearth rhythm disturbances and memory impairment.



RA potential substitute of levodopa, called I (4S, 5R, 6R-paramenta-1,8-diene-5,6-diol) was tested on laboratory mice. Animals were treated with MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) neurotoxin in order to induce Parkinson disease. This neurotoxin selectively damages dopamine-synthesizing neurons of substantia nigra. MPTP was injected in mice once or during three days, and then animals were treated with I substance 15 minutes after the last injection of the neurotoxin.

In 90 minutes researchers have checked the effect of the tested substance and found out that in all cases I substance effectively eliminated toxically induced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. All mice showed almost fully restored (compared to control group of lucky mice, which didn’t get any neurotoxin) motor performance, speed of movements, and exploratory activity, which is an indicator of emotional status.

Parkinson’s disease may end with death. Studies of how the I substance affected survival rate were performed. During the experiment, laboratory mice received MPTP toxin during 10 days. All mice were divided into three groups – first received only MPTP; second – MPTP and substance I, and third – MPTP and levodopa. The I substance was injected 4 hours after neurotoxin injections. New treatment appeared to be no less effective than levodopa, which is widely acknowledged to be a “golden standard” of Parkinson’s disease therapy.

Researchers emphasize that the I substance demonstrated high anti-Parkinson disease activity. Moreover, it helped reduce mortality during long-term neurotoxin treatment



Source: Science & Technologies

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists Russian medicine    

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