Tech & Science: Scientists find earliest clues of Parkinson's in brain - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceScientists find earliest clues of Parkinson's in brain

20:00  20 june  2019
20:00  20 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Scientists say they have identified the earliest signs of Parkinson ' s disease in the brain , 15 to 20 years before symptoms appear. Scans of a small number of high-risk patients found malfunctions in the brain 's serotonin system, which controls mood, sleep and movement.

A study has found an early sign of Parkinson ’ s disease in the brain Photo: Yui Mok/ PA. Scientists may have discovered the earliest warning signs A further 65 patients with non-genetic Parkinson ’ s disease and 25 healthy volunteers were also scanned. The researchers found that the serotonin

Scientists find earliest clues of Parkinson's in brain © PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients movement and cognitive problems, is estimated to effect up to 10 million people worldwide

Scientists said Thursday they had found the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain years before patients show any symptoms, a discovery that could eventually lead to better screening for at-risk people.

Scientists find earliest clues of Parkinson's in brain © Adrian Leung/John Saeki Factfile on Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes patients movement and cognitive problems, is estimated to effect up to 10 million people worldwide.

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Scientists say they have identified the earliest signs of Parkinson ' s disease in the brain , 15 to 20 years before symptoms appear. Scans of a small number of high-risk patients found malfunctions in the brain 's serotonin system, which controls mood, sleep and movement. The King's College London

Hope for Parkinson ' s as scientists spot signs of the cruel disorder in the brain YEARS before patients show any of the traditional symptoms. 'Detecting changes that are happening in the brain in these early stages is a crucial gap in Parkinson ’ s research at the moment.'

It is diagnosed by a build-up in the brain of a specific protein, a-synuclein, the cause of which is unclear.

However some people are born with a genetic mutation that makes them almost certain to develop the disease at some stage in their life.

Researchers from King's College London compared data from 14 individuals carrying the mutation with that of 65 non-genetic Parkinson's patients and 25 healthy volunteers.

They found that changes in the serotonin system in the brains of Parkinson's sufferers started to malfunction well before other symptoms occurred.

"We found that serotonin function was an excellent marker for how advanced Parkinson's disease has become," said Heather Wilson, from the university's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.

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Parkinson ' s patients have tubes placed in brain in protein study. But he said questions remained, including whether early changes in the serotonin system were found in other groups at risk of Parkinson ’ s , and whether these changes progressed over time – and could reliably predict when

For more than 10 years, scientists have known that mutations in the LRRK2 gene can lead to Parkinson ' s disease, yet both its role in the disease and its normal function in the brain To better understand the roles of these related proteins in brain function using animal models, Shen and her

"Therefore, brain imaging of the serotonin system could become a valuable tool to detect individuals at risk of Parkinson's diseases, monitor their progression and help with the development of new treatments."

Suspected causes of the disease before the study included levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and there is growing evidence of a possible link between Parkinson's and gut function, though this is poorly understood.

"Picking up on the condition earlier and being able to monitor its progression would aid the discovery of new and better treatments that could slow the loss of brain cells in Parkinson's," said Beckie Port, research manager at Parkinson's UK, who was not involved in the study.

"Further research is needed to fully understand the importance of this discovery, but if it is able to unlock a tool to measure and monitor how Parkinson's develops, it could change countless lives."

The research was published in The Lancet Neurology.

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