Washington: Researchers including one of Indian origin have identified a novel target for treating Parkinson`s disease.Narayan G. Avadhani, Harriet Ellison Woodward Professor of Biochemistry and chair of the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, was the senior author on the research.To study Parkinson`s, researchers have commonly mimicked the effects of the disease in animals by giving them a compound known as MPTP, a contaminant of the illicit drug MPPP, or synthetic heroin. MPTP causes damage to brain cells that respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to problems in muscle control, including tremors and difficulty walking.The common understanding of MPTP`s mechanism was that it entered the brain and was eventually converted to the toxic compound MPP+ by the enzyme MAO-B, which is located on the mitochondria of non-dopaminergic (or dopamine-sensitive) neurons. Scientists believed MPP+ was carried by the action of specific transporters into dopaminergic neurons, where it inhibited mitochondrial function and led to cell death.
Hearing loss prevention drugs come closer to reality
Vitamin B may help migraine sufferers