Find out more about the sonic hedgehog protein.
‘Sonic hedgehog’ protein could impact Parkinson’s disease dyskinesia
Author: Johanna Stiefler JohnsonPublished: 30 September 2021
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Dyskinesia is often caused by extended use of the common Parkinson’s medication levodopa – and can be debilitating for those with the condition. Now, researchers in the US may have found a way to suppress these involuntary movements through a protein called ‘sonic hedgehog’.
To conduct their study, the team administered levodopa and sonic hedgehog agonists to rodent and non-human primate models of the condition. The results revealed that dopamine neurons use the protein to communicate with other neurons thought to play a role in levodopa-induced dyskinesia.
Increased signalling of sonic hedgehog pathways was found to reduce this dyskinesia – providing “novel insight” into its formation and a “potential therapeutic solution”.
“What we find,” wrote corresponding study author Professor Andreas Kottmann, “is that in several animal models, by replacing … dopamine together with agonists that mimic the effects of sonic hedgehog, these dyskinesias can be very much suppressed.”
For more information on the latest Parkinson’s disease research, please visit the EPDA website.
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