Jan 3, 2023

Parkinson’s Breakthrough: Scientists Have Identified a Key Molecule

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Adenosine, a neurotransmitter, has been found to act as a brake on dopamine, another neurotransmitter involved in motor control, by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University. The findings, which were published in the journal Nature, reveal that adenosine and dopamine operate in a push-pull dynamic in the brain.

“There are two neuronal circuits: one that helps promote action and the other that inhibits action,” said senior author Haining Zhong, Ph.D., a scientist with the OHSU Vollum Institute. “Dopamine promotes the first circuit to enable movement, and adenosine is the ‘brake’ that promotes the second circuit and brings balance to the system.”

The discovery has the potential to immediately suggest new avenues for drug development to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that is believed to be caused by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain.

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