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Small molecules 'protect cells in Parkinson's disease models'

Small molecules 'protect cells in Parkinson's disease models'
29th December 2009

A number of structurally-similar small molecules appear to be able to protect cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity in several instances of Parkinson's disease, new research has concluded.

Susan Lundquist and her team at the Whitehead Institute used a form of brewers' yeast injected with several compounds and found that it was able to fight off Parkinson's disease-like cells.

Daniel Tardiff, a post-doctoral researcher with Ms Lindquist, said that theoretically speaking, if a compound is having a beneficial effect on yeast cells, in a worm and in primary neurons, it might "actually be a potential therapeutic avenue or drug".

He continued: "Though we started in yeast, one of those compounds could actually have some potential for human health in Parkinson's disease. That's always a lofty goal."

The upcoming World Parkinson Congress will be held in Glasgow from September 28th to October 1st 2010 and will provide an international forum for the latest medical practices, scientific discoveries and carers' initiatives related to Parkinson's disease.

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