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Brain imaging reveals drug treatments for Parkinson's disease

Brain imaging reveals drug treatments for Parkinson's disease
14th September 2010

Brain imaging has been used to help uncover which existing drugs could slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center used brain imaging to identify a new molecular pathway underlying Parkinson's disease, which will help with diagnosis of the condition.

The pathway involves proteins called polyamines, which were then found to be responsible for the build-up of toxic proteins in neurons.

Using a mouse model, the researchers confirmed that existing drugs for reducing polyamine levels can help to slow the progression of the disease.

The most exciting thing about the finding is that it opens up the possibility of using a whole class of drugs that is already available," says the study's lead author Dr Scott Small.

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute recently revealed the mechanism used by cells to prevent the toxic build-up of protein seen in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease.

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