Can awakening dormant neurons reverse Parkinson’s motor symptoms?

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Author: Caithlin NgPublished: 13 February 2020

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Neurons in the brain

Reawakening dormant neurons could help reverse Parkinson’s motor symptoms, researchers in South Korea have found.

While Parkinson’s is typically believed to be caused by neuronal death, a new study – published in ‘Current Biology’ journal – suggests that dormant neurons could be another cause.

After completing an animal test – which treated the subjects with two compounds that block dopamine-producing neurons from becoming dormant – the researchers found these neurons to be “awakened”, allowing them to resume dopamine production. The researchers hope that this will lead to a disease-modifying treatment, especially for people in the early stages of Parkinson’s. 

Hoon Ryu, a senior author of the study and researcher at KIST Brain Science Institute, South Korea, said: “This research refutes the common belief that there is no disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s due to its basis on neuronal cell death.”

For more information on the latest Parkinson’s research please visit the EPDA website.


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