Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is Treating Parkinson's Possible With New Neurotrophic Factor?

Date:
July 5, 2007
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a novel neurotrophic factor CDNF (Conserved Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor) that was shown to protect and even rescue damaged dopamine neurons in an experimental model of Parkinson's disease. More importantly, the function of the neurons was recovered after an experimental lesion of the dopamine neurons in Substantia Nigra.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative brain disease characterized by the loss of dopamine neurons in the midbrain-area called Substantia Nigra. The research group led by professor Mart Saarma, Director of the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has discovered a novel neurotrophic factor CDNF (Conserved Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor). CDNF was shown to protect and even rescue damaged dopamine neurons in an experimental model of Parkinson's disease in studies performed by the research group of professor Raimo K. Tuominen, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. More importantly, the function of the neurons was recovered after an experimental lesion of the dopamine neurons in Substantia Nigra.

The findings of this research may be of great importance for the development of new treatment strategies for Parkinson's disease. The results of this study will be published in Nature on July 5th, 2007.

Approximately one percent of people aged over 60 get Parkinson's disease all over the World. The demographic change with increasing number of elderly people will lead in doubling of the number of Parkinsonian patients also in Finland during 2005 -- 2030. Typical symptoms in Parkinson's disease are those of muscle rigidity, tremor, and slowness of movement. They are a consequence of the degeneration of dopamine nerves projecting from Substantia Nigra to Caudate Putamen (also called Striatum). The clinical symptoms manifest when approximately 70 % of the dopamine nerves have been destroyed. Degeneration of the dopamine nerves progresses slowly, and in time the difficulties in movement becomes a major factor reducing the quality of life of these patients.

Current drug treatment of Parkinson's disease aims at increasing dopamine concentration and / or activation of dopamine receptors in the brain. Due to the progression of the nerve degeneration the drug therapy gradually becomes less effective. Neurotrophic factors which could slow down or even halt the progression of the degeneration of dopamine nerves have been in the focus as a possible new treatment for Parkinson's disease. Glial cell- line derived neurotrophic fctor (GDNF) is one example of such a promising growth factor. Indeed, it was shown to have beneficial effects in a clinical trial in Parkinsonian patients suffering from severe symptoms. However, due to adverse effects the clinical trials have been stopped, even though some of the patients would have continued the therapy. Even so, the clinical trials on GDNF gave the proof of concept for the use of neurotrophic factorstreatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore it is very important to search for new growth factors with similar efficacy as GDNF, but with better tolerability.

Conserved dopamine neurotrophic (CDNF) factor discovered and characterized in this study is well conserved in the evolution. It belongs to a CDNF/MANF family of proteins, which is the first evolutionarily conserved family of neurotrophic factors having a representative also in invertebrate animals (MANF = mesencephalic astrocyte derived neurotrophic factor).

In an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, a neurotoxin 6-OHDA was injected on one side of the brain into the striatum of rats. This toxin causes a progressive degeneration of dopamine nerves similar to that observed in Parkinsons disease. Upon activation of dopamine nerves of the brain by drugs, these animals show a movement disorder, a circling behaviour, which reflects an imbalance of dopamine activity of the brain hemispheres.

A single injection of CDNF six hours before the toxin delivery into the striatum significantly prevented the degeneration of dopamine nerves in the brain and also the turning behavior was normalized. When administered four weeks after the toxin, situation mimicking a progression of the nerve degeneration in patients, injection of CDNF into Striatum was able to prevent the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and cure the behavioral imbalance.

The results of the present study show that CDNF is a very promising new neurotrophic factor with a significant neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects on dopamine nerves in the brain. It may have significant potential in the treatment of Parkinson's disease in the future as a neuro protective or even neurorestorative therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Helsinki. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "Is Treating Parkinson's Possible With New Neurotrophic Factor?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070704144646.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2007, July 5). Is Treating Parkinson's Possible With New Neurotrophic Factor?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070704144646.htm
University of Helsinki. "Is Treating Parkinson's Possible With New Neurotrophic Factor?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070704144646.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins