Washington: An artificial sweetener produced by fungi, bacteria, and algae could help treat those suffering from Parkinson`s disease, according to a new study.Mannitol that is present in sugar-free gum and candy has been approved by the FDA as a diuretic to flush out excess fluids and used during surgery as a substance that opens the blood/brain barrier to ease the passage of other drugs.Profs. Ehud Gazit and Daniel Segal of Tel Aviv University`s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology and the Sagol School of Neuroscience, along with their colleague Dr. Ronit Shaltiel-Karyo and PhD candidate Moran Frenkel-Pinter, found that mannitol also prevents clumps of the protein a-synuclein from forming in the brain - a process that is characteristic of Parkinson`s disease.
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