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Scientists Discover The Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease in The Brain

Researchers tried to find a reliable marker of the disease in order to identify people at risk before the onset of motor symptoms.


Researchers at King’s College London have discovered that early signs of irreversible neurodegenerative processes caused by Parkinson’s disease may be a depletion of serotonin.

It is noted that changes in the serotonin system can begin 15-20 years before the onset of motor and other symptoms that occur during the initial stage of Parkinson’s disease and only get worse with time.

14 people from Greece and Italy took part in the research with a rare mutation in the SNCA gene, because of which they are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and seven of them have already been diagnosed with this disease, and the other seven have not yet manifested his symptoms.

Study participants were examined in the brain and the results were compared with data from 65 people with Parkinson’s disease and 25 healthy people.

As a result, the authors of scientific work revealed that changes in the serotonin system, which affects a person’s mood, sleep and motor function, occur many years before the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear in patients.

Researchers are confident that their discovery may lead to the creation of new ways to diagnose the disease and its treatment.

Recall that all over the world more than six million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease. The disease progresses slowly, but modern medicine is not yet able to cure it.

Manifestations of Parkinson’s disease that worsen over time include motor symptoms, such as stiffness, slowness, and tremors, as well as non-motor symptoms, such as memory problems.

Via | The Lancet Neurology