Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Degenerative Changes That Mimic Parkinson's Linked To Reduced Dopamine Storage

Date:
July 28, 2007
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
Neuroscientists have discovered what could serve as a model for slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 1 million people in the U.S. The study found that mice with a reduced capacity to store the brain chemical dopamine underwent a degenerative process that mimics Parkinson's disease.

Emory University neuroscientists have discovered what could serve as a model for slowing the progression of Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 1 million people in the U.S.

The study, published in the July 25 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, found that mice with a reduced capacity to store the brain chemical dopamine underwent a degenerative process that mimics Parkinson's disease.

"We've uncovered solid evidence that improper storage of dopamine can be harmful to the dopamine neurons in the brain," says Gary W. Miller, PhD, study principal investigator, associate professor in the Emory Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, and associate professor of environmental and occupational health in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health.

The mice observed in the study had a reduced expression of the gene VMAT2 causing progressive loss of dopamine neurons and many of the neurochemical features observed in Parkinson's disease patients, including an increase in oxidative stress.

For many years, scientists have known that the lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's. The most effective treatment is providing patients with a substance that can be converted by the body into dopamine, called a dopamine precursor, to help restore dopamine levels in the brain.

The transporter VMAT2 packages dopamine into tiny containers for future release by brain cells, or neurons. Dopamine transmits signals between nerve cells. When insufficient VMAT2 is produced by the nerve cells, the improperly stored dopamine causes neurodegenerative changes in the nigrostriatal dopamine system, which is embedded in the deepest structures of the brain. Damage to the nigrostriatal region leads to the movement problems observed in Parkinson's disease.

"The mice in our study that were unable to store sufficient levels of dopamine provide an ideal model of how Parkinson's progresses over time," Dr. Miller says. "We hope to use this model to test compounds aimed at slowing the course of the disease."

The study, titled "Reduced Vesicular Storage of Dopamine Causes Progressive Nigrostriatal Neurodegeneration," also included Emory researchers Mike Caudle, PhD, Tommy Guillot, Jason Richardson, PhD, Tonya Taylor and Min Wang, MD. Scientists at the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif., and the Babraham Institute in the United Kingdom also contributed to the research. The study was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Degenerative Changes That Mimic Parkinson's Linked To Reduced Dopamine Storage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725210019.htm>.
Emory University. (2007, July 28). Degenerative Changes That Mimic Parkinson's Linked To Reduced Dopamine Storage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725210019.htm
Emory University. "Degenerative Changes That Mimic Parkinson's Linked To Reduced Dopamine Storage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070725210019.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. 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