Parkinson’s is a condition where parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years. A person suffering from Parkinson’s is affected by involuntary shaking, slow movement and inflexible muscles. It is estimated that 145,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK.
In an article published by BBC News, a drug named Terazosin can help treat Parkinson’s disease. The article suggests that a Prostate drug may slow Parkinson’s disease. So, could Terazosin mean that the Parkinson’s Organisation could be the step closer to the cure they are after?
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, findings suggest the alpha-blocker drug protects brain cells from destruction. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s, only treatments to help alleviate some of the symptoms such as tremors, compromised balance and speech abnormalities. The earlier the diagnosis and the earlier the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment is at alleviating symptoms.
Researchers at the University of Iowa, USA and Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, China have suggested Terazosin may help by activating an enzyme called PGK1 to prevent brain cell death.
Understanding the genetic risk is critical in the research of Parkinson’s. Scientists and researchers are trying to investigate whether an in-inheritance pattern may exist – although this is currently unknown. Most Parkinson’s cases occur in people without a family history. It’s thought around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease men are slightly more likely to the disease than women.
Mutations in the GBA1 gene are important risk factors for the development of Parkinson’s disease which causes irregular neuron function. Past research has suggested trying to ‘fix’ this mutated enzyme. Dr. Dimitri Krainc, neurology director at the North-western University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago explains ‘Most drug development for Parkinson’s has so far relied on stabilising the mutated gene, but such treatments would only work in a limited number of Parkinson’s cases.’
A new study suggests an alternative approach of activating and enhancing healthy non-mutated enzymes which in effect, revealed improvement in the cellular function in neurons collected from people with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s UK are currently heading up multiple research projects into different factors to help improve the future of those suffering. More research is needed to help improve the lives of those suffering with Parkinson and one day cure this debilitating disease.