SEP 30, 2019 8:41 AM PDT

New Potential Early Stage Treatment for Parkinson's

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, affecting 35 million people globally. Currently without a cure, researchers from Stanford University have identified a molecular defect common to all people with the condition that may help pave the way for early diagnosis and new treatment options. 

In a study published in Cell Metabolism, researchers collected skin samples from 83 people with Parkinson’s, five asymptomatic close relatives thought to be at high risk of developing the condition, 22 people with other movement disorders and 52 healthy control subjects. Extracting the fibroblasts from the skin samples, they then cultured them in petri dishes and put them under stress to damage their mitochondria. Under normal circumstances, this process leads to the removal of Miro, an adaptor molecule, from damaged mitochondria, so they may then be repaired by the body (Hsieh: 2019). 

Although Miro was successfully removed from damaged mitochondria in the control group and those with other movement disorders, for those with Parkinson’s and their high risk relatives, the Miro remained. A clear indicator of how the early stages of Parkinson’s begin- by disabling the body from repairing damaged mitochondria, the researchers recognised that simple tests like this may help with early diagnosis of Parkinsons. Yet, they didn’t stop with this conclusion (ibid.). 

Screening 6,835,320 molecules, they used software from Atomwise to identify 11 molecules possibly capable of binding to Miro to facilitate its separation from mitochondria, that were nontoxic, orally available and able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Testing these compounds on fruit flies for seven days, the researchers found that four of them significantly reduced their Miro levels without negative side effects. Furthermore, the researchers also tested one compound on fibroblasts from a patient with sporadic Parkinson’s disease, noting substantial improvements on Miro clearance in their cells after their mitochondria was damaged. 

Although further research is needed to confirm the results, Xinnan Wang, the study’s senior author, “Our hope is that if this compound or a similar one proves nontoxic and efficacious and we can give it, like a statin drug, to people who’ve tested positive for the Miro-removal defect but don’t yet have Parkinson’s symptoms, they’ll never get it. (Stanford Medicine: 2019)”

 

Sources

 

Hsieh, Chung-Han et al: Cell Metabolism

Stanford Medicine 

 

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
SEP 30, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Exosome delivery of an anti-HIV drug to the brain
SEP 30, 2021
Exosome delivery of an anti-HIV drug to the brain
The body has a remarkable ability to prevent foreign objects, such as toxins or other pathogens, from entering the brain ...
OCT 19, 2021
Microbiology
An Antibiotic May be Able to Reduce Inflammatory Pain
OCT 19, 2021
An Antibiotic May be Able to Reduce Inflammatory Pain
The gastrointestinal tract is full of microbes, all with their own genomes and characteristics. Some of those microbes a ...
OCT 28, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
What do Student Doctors and Medical Professionals Think of Cannabis?
OCT 28, 2021
What do Student Doctors and Medical Professionals Think of Cannabis?
In the current environment the legalization of cannabis, and its use for medicinal purposes, has been a divisive topic o ...
NOV 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
The first FDA approved eye drops to treat presbyopia and correct poor near-vision.
NOV 04, 2021
The first FDA approved eye drops to treat presbyopia and correct poor near-vision.
Your Grandma's favorite eyeglasses may soon find their way to the trashcan. Last Friday, October 29th, the United States ...
NOV 14, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Cancer Drug Target Could Actually Worsen Disease
NOV 14, 2021
Cancer Drug Target Could Actually Worsen Disease
Cancer drugs have been developed that target an enzyme, Shp2. But that enzyme has a more complex role than we knew.
DEC 06, 2021
Microbiology
Sino Biological Launched Omicron Variant Research Reagents
DEC 06, 2021
Sino Biological Launched Omicron Variant Research Reagents
Sino Biological Newly Launched A Panel of Research Reagents for SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant (B.1.1.529) Beijing, China, D ...
Loading Comments...