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
Other
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
NOV 30, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Losing weight with cannabis
Losing weight with cannabis
Is it possible to lose weight with cannabis? Here's what the latest research tells us.
DEC 14, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
The Two Brains Exposed by Ketamine
The Two Brains Exposed by Ketamine
Researchers out of the University of Pennsylvania have discovered our brains are split in two and not just along the hem ...
DEC 19, 2022
Cancer
TIL Therapy for Advanced Melanoma Extends Survival Over Ipilimumab
TIL Therapy for Advanced Melanoma Extends Survival Over Ipilimumab
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have become a treatment option for many patients with advanced melanoma.  Still ...
DEC 24, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
New drug discovery program powered by AI for oncology indication
New drug discovery program powered by AI for oncology indication
XtalPi is a quantum-physics, AI-powered Research and Development company based in Cambridge, MA, with branches in China. ...
JAN 28, 2023
Drug Discovery & Development
New Protein Discovery Could Be Useful for Alzheimer's Treatments
New Protein Discovery Could Be Useful for Alzheimer's Treatments
Alzheimer's is a disease that impairs the brain's ability to carry out simple tasks and even causes dementia. De ...
JAN 29, 2023
Drug Discovery & Development
Introducing a plant toxin that can be used as an antibiotic: albicidin
Introducing a plant toxin that can be used as an antibiotic: albicidin
Albicidin is a peptide antibiotic that works as a DNA gyrase inhibitor with bactericidal activity towards fluoroquinolon ...
Loading Comments...