Parkinson’s Disease Treatment: A Fruity Compound May Reverse Brain Damage

parkinson's disease treatment

Health experts suggest eating a healthy and balanced diet to prevent the risk factors of Parkinson’s disease. It is a long-term brain disorder that affects the everyday life of a person and the symptoms worsen over time. However, the latest study shows that a compound found in herbs and fruits can help prevent and even reverse the brain damage for Parkinson’s disease treatment. 

The name of the compound is farnesol which is available naturally in different berries, fruits, and herbs. This compound is used in perfumes and as a flavoring agent. According to this latest research, this compound can also help prevent the loss of dopamine-producing neurons of the brain. It deactivates the protein called PARIS, a significant protein that causes the progression of this disease. Hence, it can assist in its prevention and Parkinson’s disease treatment. 

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The researchers conducted this study using lab mice and observed the effect of farnesol on brain function. They published the findings of this study in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

According to the researchers, the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain affects the cognition and movement of a person. It can lead to other symptoms of this disease as well including dementia, rigidity, confusion, and tremors. The ability of the compound, farnesol to block the protein PARIS can help in the development of interventions that target this specific protein.

Dr. Ted Dawson from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that this study shows that the use of farnesol helps prevent the loss of neurons that produce dopamine. In addition, it reverses the behavioral deficits observed in mice. Hence, scientists can look at it as a potential drug for the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 

The researchers in this study fed the lab mice with a regular diet and farnesol-supplemented food for a week. In the findings of this study, they observed that the mice who took the farnesol diet did better in coordination and strength tests. These tests were designed to check advancements in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Later, the researchers looked at the brain tissue of the lab mice. They found that those who took the farnesol diet had twice the number of dopamine-producing neurons. These healthy neurons were in comparison to the mice that took a normal diet instead of the farnesol supplemented one.

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Even though farnesol is naturally available in plants and herbs, scientists are not yet aware of its safe dosage in humans. They can only find out about the safe dose via clinical trials involving humans. Until then, they are unsure how much synthetic or natural farnesol can help in Parkinson’s disease treatment and prevention.

The team of researchers is hopeful that further studies on this fruity compound can help find the treatment for this brain disorder. Since the findings of this study show that farnesol can reverse and prevent the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, further research may help develop a useful drug for this disease.

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