New drug shows promise in Parkinson`s disease

Updated: Jun 20, 2013, 16:57 PM IST

Washington: Diapocynin, a synthetic molecule derived from a naturally occurring compound (apocynin), protected neurobehavioral function in mice with Parkinson`s Disease symptoms by preventing deficits in motor coordination, according to a study.

In a specific type of transgenic mouse called LRRK2R1441G, the animals lose coordinated movements and develop Parkinson`s-type symptoms by ten months of age.

In this study, the researchers treated those mice with diapocynin starting at 12 weeks. That treatment prevented the expected deficits in motor coordination.

"These early findings are encouraging, but in this model, we still do not know how this molecule exerts neuroprotective action. Further studies are necessary to discover the exact mode of action of the diaopocynin and other molecules with a similar structure," said corresponding author Balaraman Kalyanaraman, Ph.D., Harry R. and Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson`s Research, chairman and professor of biophysics, and director of the MCW Free Radical Research Center.

Clinicians have expressed a need for earlier disease detection in Parkinson`s Disease patients; the researchers believe further study of this specific mouse model may allow them to identify new biomarkers that would enable early disease detection, and ultimately allow for better patient care and quality of life.

The findings were published in the Neuroscience Letters.