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Common Med May Aid Parkinson Treatment

medResearchers announce that serotonin, a well-studied neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, appetite, sexuality and sleep, may be helpful for individuals with Parkinson’s.

Current treatment for the tremors, rigidity and impaired movement associated with advancing Parkinson’s is a drug called L-DOPA. But as the disease progresses, L-DOPA can cause prominent side effects that counteract its effectiveness.

Rockefeller University’s Paul Greengard and colleagues in Sweden provide evidence that side effects associated with repeated L-DOPA treatment can be blocked by manipulating a specific serotonin receptor.

The finding, reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition online, points to a new target for developing treatments for this disorder, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s.

“Our study provides a scientific rationale for developing drugs that act on the serotonin 1B receptor for the treatment of advanced Parkinsonism,” says senior co-author Per Svenningsson, a visiting professor in Greengard’s lab and a group leader at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

The neurotransmitter dopamine has several functions in the brain, including the regulation of movement. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a progressive degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons, which causes tremors, rigidity and lack of movement control. These neurons project from the midbrain to an area of the brain called the corpus striatum.

Although dopamine signaling is impaired in Parkinson’s patients, serotonin production remains strong. In addition, several serotonin receptors are highly expressed in the striatum and available to modify the action of L-DOPA.

“Developing compounds that target the serotonin 1B receptor may offer an alternative approach for treating advanced Parkinson’s disease.”

Source: Rockefeller University

Common Med May Aid Parkinson Treatment

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Common Med May Aid Parkinson Treatment. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/02/06/common-med-may-aid-parkinson-treatment/1881.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.