Parkinson’s disease caused by ‘burnout’ of brain cells

Parkinson’s disease caused by ‘burnout’ of brain cells

- in Featured, Health, News

Neurological condition Parkinson’s disease has been linked to a “burnout” in brain cells that need high amounts of energy for controlling movement. According to a report published by Medical News Today, the inability of these cells to energize themselves causes them to short out, paving the way for greater neurological serious ailments like Parkinson’s disease.

A team of medical experts at the University of Montreal in Canada shows that the neurons in the brain that control movement have a tendency to “exhaust themselves and die prematurely.”

Lead researcher Louis-Eric Trudeau, a professor of pharmacology and neurosciences, has spent the last 17 years researching the parts of the brain that can lead to Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and drug addiction. Trudeau hopes that the study will offer insights into new possible treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

It has proven difficult for doctors to devise a treatment for Parkinson’s disease in mice, even after incorporating human genes. The new study points towards a possible treatment that helps brain cells become more energy-efficient, minimizing the wear and tear over time.

Parkinson’s disease results from the death of brain cells in the substantia nigra, an area that controls the release of dopamine, which helps regulate movement and emotions, among other things.

Trudeau notes that as people live longer, the neurons in the brain that break down first may not be designed to last 90 or 100 years. By developing a medicine that could slow down the degradation of these neurons, Trudeau may be on the verge of a discovery that can eliminate Parkinson’s disease for good.

Professor Trudeau added, “To use the analogy of a motor, a car that overheats will burn significantly more fuel, and, not surprisingly, end up at the garage more often.”

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