A new study from Oregon Health & Science University has identified a molecule that could help treat Parkinson’s disease.
The molecule, called alpha-synuclein, is a protein that is found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s. It is thought to play a role in the disease by disrupting the normal function of nerve cells.
The OHSU team found that a compound called N-acetylcysteine (NAC) can bind to alpha-synuclein and prevent it from causing damage. NAC is a common supplement that is already used to treat other conditions.
The findings suggest that NAC could be a safe and effective treatment for Parkinson’s. The team is now working on a clinical trial to test the compound in people with the disease.
If successful, NAC could become the first treatment to target the underlying cause of Parkinson’s. This would be a major breakthrough for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from the disease.
OHSU scientists identify molecule that could help treat Parkinson’s
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University have identified a molecule that could help treat Parkinson’s disease.
The team, led by Dr. Jiaqiao Shen, discovered that the molecule, known as perhexiline, can help protect neurons from damage.
Perhexiline is already approved by the FDA for the treatment of heart failure. The OHSU team is now working to develop it as a treatment for Parkinson’s.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.