Health > Recent Research in Parkinson’s Detection & Early Recognition of it’s Symptoms
30th Jul 2022
Mice Study Supercharges Neurons to Detect Parkinson's Disease

Recent Research in Parkinson’s Detection & Early Recognition of it’s Symptoms

Millions of people worldwide are affected by neurodegenerative conditions, which affect the neurons in the central nervous system. The neurons, which produce dopamine neurotransmitters, are referred to as the dopaminergic neurons and their loss leads to one of the most recognised human neurological disorders, Parkinson’s disease (PD). Parkinson’s disease impacts nerve cells in parts of the brain called the basal ganglia and the substantia nigra. Parkinson’s does not occur immediately; instead, it develops gradually over many years, and both the symptoms and the condition occur progressively over many years. Generally speaking, the symptoms differ from one individual to another based on the stage of the condition.


Identification of Parkinson’s

Bradykinesia, tremors, stiffness of the limbs, issues with balance and gait, and problems with speed are some of the symptoms that people with Parkinson’s disease may experience. The Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is one of the most critical factors in reducing the severity of its symptoms. The researchers conducted their tests on mice, and they detected the disorder in mice in the early stages by stimulating particular neurons. Consequently, this has enabled patients to begin treatment before severe damage is caused due to Parkinson’s disease.


Why does one suffer from Parkinson’s disease in the first place?

It is unknown what exactly causes Parkinson’s disease. The only available treatments right now consist of medication, therapy, and surgery that are known to manage PD symptoms. Since there is no cure for this condition, the treatments slow down the  progression of the condition and thus enhance the quality of life. This condition may not be deadly, but the problem is pretty concerning.


Early recognition of symptoms associated with PD

The death or loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain and the loss of these neuron cells affect the capacity of the patient to move, resulting in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease don’t appear until the neurons in the brain have gone. Parkinson’s disease symptoms won’t show up for years or even decades after the illness has started. If the condition could be diagnosed earlier, treatment could begin sooner, which would assist in reducing the disease’s advancement.

However, medical professionals and academics are struggling to identify a component capable of assisting in early Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Many scholars and scientists hope that a protein known as alpha-synuclein, a defective version of the protein, might be used as a biomarker to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. However, studies show that the changes in the protein between healthy persons and those with PD are not very apparent. One of the researchers working on developing a method for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is taking an entirely different approach to his study. The human metabolites, which are the compounds that are created when there is a release of dopamine from neurons, may be measured. This occurs when the dopamine that has been released is broken down. In contrast to dopamine, some of the metabolites will be able to cross the barrier that separates the blood and the brain while travelling through the circulatory system. They are also found in the cerebrospinal fluid, often known as CSF, located around the brain’s spinal cord.


The strategy used by scientists toward the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease

Dopamine levels will be low in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid samples if they have Parkinson’s disease. This may be determined by doing a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). The problem is that the difference is minimal since there is a significant difference between the patients. This diagnosis technique will not adequately assess sensitivity because the difference is not substantial. Researchers aim to broaden the range of possible outcomes following dynamic analysis to divide the participants into the healthy control group and the sick groups.


Putting the concept of a more comprehensive dynamic range through its paces

To put this theory to the test, the team of researchers has done a simulation of the dopamine neurons in mouse models that are 20 weeks old and suffering from Parkinson’s disease by administering medications that the FDA has authorised. One of the drugs goes by haloperidol; it stimulates dopamine neurons, which releases even more dopamine. It also prevents dopamine from being reabsorbed by cells after it has been removed; consequently, it is one of the drugs that cause addiction. At that age, the mouse models had lost only up to 28 per cent of their dopamine neurons, which is minimal but enough to generate evident symptoms.

Researchers expect that administering the medications to mice with Parkinson’s disease and mice from healthy control groups would result in changes in the metabolites of HVA and DOPAC that are identifiable in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of the animal sets.


What have scientists discovered?

However, there was no discernible difference in the quantities of the metabolites found in the cerebral fluid and the blood of the PD animals and the healthy mice. After one hour, both groups were administered the drugs. The mice’s cerebrospinal fluid with Parkinson’s contained a lower concentration of HVA and DOPAC than the healthy mice. The healthy mice’s blood had a noticeably lower concentration of HVA.

These experiments are also carried out on human patients. A diagnostic test based on this methodology could one day assist in the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in individuals.



When the prescribed therapy and the use of dopaminergic drugs are combined, it is feasible for a person with Parkinson’s disease to have a high quality of life despite having the condition. The study’s findings can be replicated in people with Parkinson’s disease. One day, it could likely be feasible to perform a simple blood test to identify individuals suffering from the ailment in its early stages. The test findings would most likely be validated by examining the patient’s CSF fluid, which can be addressed while the treatment is being performed. It is also essential to understand that individuals with Parkinson’s disease begin to feel symptoms later in the progression of the condition. These symptoms occur because a more significant number of neurons in the substantia nigra have already been damaged or destroyed. Therefore, discovering biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease will result in an earlier Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. It will be made possible by scientists researching methods to provide patients with more individualised therapies and slow the condition’s progression.

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What causes Parkinson’s to happen?

Parkinson’s disease may be traced back to the deterioration of nerve cells in the substantia nigra, a brain area responsible for dopamine production.


What are usually the first signs of Parkinson’s?

Loss of odour, problem sleeping, trembling, tiny handwriting, difficulties walking and moving, face becoming masked, constipation, accompanied by fainting or dizziness.


What does Parkinson’s do to a person?

PD is a neurological condition that may cause movements that are not deliberate or controlled, such as shaking, stiffness, and problems with balance and coordination.


Can Parkinson’s be prevented?

Parkinson’s disease has unclear causes; hence, currently, there is no recognised prevention possible. Scientists are identifying the protein responsible and preventing illness from worsening.


Can stress cause Parkinson’s?

According to the findings of the recent study, stressful life events may be connected to the development of Parkinson’s disease.


Who is most likely to get Parkinson’s disease?

Age is the most critical factor in determining Parkinson’s disease risk because the condition is more prevalent in those over fifty. PD strikes a much higher proportion of males than women.


At what age does Parkinson’s usually start?

Individuals above the age of sixty may become the victims of this PD. There is no exact age, but it is primarily observed in senior citizens.


Can you have Parkinson’s for years without knowing?

It is usually believed that a connection exists between Parkinson’s disease and several early warning signs. It’s possible that specific symptoms, like tremors, will appear years before the more classic motor issues linked with the disease.


Can you live an everyday life with Parkinson’s?

With the therapies and management of symptoms, most people with Parkinson’s disease can lead a normal lifestyle.


Do you have pain with Parkinson’s?

Pain is a Parkinson’s disease symptom, according to medical professionals, and it is often brought on by stiffness or dystonia, both of which have the potential to be made worse during “resting” times.