Parkinson’s Disease Treatment; An Astounding new Approach

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Parkinson’s is one of those diseases that need more and more in depth research about new treatment options.The new health discoveries that are taking place each day are enlightening new ways and new directions in the field of medicine.

parkinson's disease

A research was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the researchers found a chemical, which was an ingredient of an anti-wrinkle skincare cream, to have the ability to stop nerve cell death in inherited Parkinson’s disease. The research team suggests that this phenomenon might actually work wonders by reversing the effects of mutation in Parkinson’s disease treatment.

A PhD chemist and lead researcher at UCSF, Kevan Shokat, says that the discovery of this new treatment technique is a milestone in the field of pharmacology as this has the very first specific and target-oriented member of a significant type of enzyme that is the kinases (key regulators of cellular functions) that works to increase the rate of activity of the cell rather than inhibiting them. We all know, mutations produce changes in genes. When it comes to Parkinson’s, the PINK1 gene controlling the activity of some enzymes is mutated which results in Parkinson’s disease before time.

Mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of energy for the cell giving us ATPs, gets affected by the loss of PINK1 gene activity and this turns out to be very damaging for the cell. In Parkinson’s disease, due to the affected and inefficiently working mitochondria, the neurons in the substantia nigra, which are responsible for producing neurotransmitter dopamine, gets damaged. Because substantia nigra deals with motor functions, symptoms are all related to motor activity .  Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher Shokat and his team used kinetin, a chemical which was used to raise the activity of PINK1 enzyme which is affected by mutation to bring it close to normal values in the neurons. According to researchers the neurons that had a normal level of PINK1 enzyme, in that case, kinetin raised the activity of this enzyme to above normal levels.

Some more studies suggest that PINK1 enzymatic activity can be raised in neuron of human brain which does not have any mutant PINK1. This according to Shokat, makes kinetin may have a potential to treat common forms of Parkinson’s that lack PINK1 mutation.

With many other therapeutic strategies for Parkinson’s disease treatment, which haven’t been very successful, the breakthrough by this new strategy which helps to rev the activity of PINK1 with the help of a chemical is indeed astounding and an unusual approach.


Dan Dowski is a 6th year medical student at ‘The Slovak Medical University in Bratislava’. He opted medicine as a career because he is passionate about doing something for the people who are in need. He wants to be an orthopedic surgeon in future and aims to work hard to become one of the best of his kind in Slovakia. Dan contributes to Doctors Know Best by writing informative and factual articles.

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