Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could Parkinson's Disease Risk Be Assessed Early Enough To Allow For Preventative Treatment?

Date:
February 22, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Humans could be tested to see if they have a risk factor for Parkinson's disease, the progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1.5 million Americans and receive preventive treatment. The study demonstrates that high levels of MAO-B, an enzyme that regulates nerve activity in the brain, cause Parkinson's-like symptoms in mice genetically engineered to overexpress the protein.

A new study demonstrates that high levels of MAO-B, an enzyme that regulates nerve activity in the brain, cause Parkinson's-like symptoms in mice genetically engineered to overexpress the protein. Furthermore, drugs currently used as an adjunct therapy for Parkinson's in humans prevented the development of Parkinson's symptoms in these same animals.

Related Articles


The findings, by scientists at the Buck Institute for Age Research, raise the possibility that humans could be tested to see if they have a risk factor for the progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1.5 million Americans and receive preventive treatment.

Levels of measurable MAO-B vary 50-fold in humans and tend to increase with age. Several studies have suggested that increases in MAO-B contribute to the neurodegeneration associated with PD, but direct proof of a causative role for the enzyme has been lacking. The drug deprenyl, which inhibits MAO-B, is a longstanding therapy for Parkinson's used together with drugs that boost the level of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter that is preferentially depleted in the disease. Clinical studies that suggest that deprenyl treatment alone does not impact mortality associated with Parkinson's have cast doubt on the role of MAO-B in the disease itself.

Buck faculty member Julie Andersen, PhD, who led the study says that may not be the case. "Those studies were targeted to patients who already had symptoms of Parkinson's -- by the time Parkinson's is symptomatically detectable, dopamine loss is usually at least 60%," said Andersen. "Therefore the lack of effectiveness of MAO-B inhibition in these patients does not negate a role for MAO-B increase in disease development." Andersen added, "We have demonstrated that elevations in MAO-B result in selective loss of neurons associated with Parkinson's in a mouse model and that the severity of this loss is age-dependent."

Tests to measure levels of MAO-B are not currently available to the general public, although enzyme levels are tracked in clinical trials. Andersen says MAO-B testing could be akin to current practices involving cholesterol, which is measured and monitored as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. "However, it is important to note that Parkinson's is a multi-factor disease," said Andersen. "The fact that someone has high levels of MAO-B does not necessarily mean they are fated to develop Parkinson's."

Andersen said results of the study point to the need for an early diagnostic test for Parkinson's. "Currently, by the time people are diagnosed with the disease they have already lost 60% of the neurotransmitter levels implicated in Parkinson's; treatment with a drug like deprenyl would likely be most effective if taken before symptoms appear in order to halt disease progression."

The novel transgenic mouse line created for this study provides a new model for exploring molecular pathways involved in the initiation or early progression of several key features associated with Parkinson's pathology including dopaminergic midbrain cell loss. The mouse line also allows for additional therapeutic drug testing.

Citation: Mallajosyula JK, Kaur D, Chinta SJ, Rajagopalan S, Rane A, et al (2008) MAO-B Elevation in Mouse Brain Astrocytes Results in Parkinson's Pathology. PLoS One 3(2): e1616. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001616 http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0001616


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Could Parkinson's Disease Risk Be Assessed Early Enough To Allow For Preventative Treatment?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203544.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, February 22). Could Parkinson's Disease Risk Be Assessed Early Enough To Allow For Preventative Treatment?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203544.htm
Public Library of Science. "Could Parkinson's Disease Risk Be Assessed Early Enough To Allow For Preventative Treatment?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203544.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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