ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease is a common progressive bradykinetic disorder that can be accurately diagnosed. It is characterised by the presence of severe pars-compacta nigral-cell loss, and accumulation of aggregated alpha-synuclein in specific brain stem, spinal cord, and cortical regions. The main known risk factor is age. Susceptibility genes including alpha-synuclein, leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK-2), and glucocerebrosidase (GBA) have shown that genetic predisposition is another important causal factor. Dopamine replacement therapy considerably reduces motor handicap, and effective treatment of associated depression, pain, constipation, and nocturnal difficulties can improve quality of life. Embryonic stem cells and gene therapy are promising research therapeutic approaches.
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ABSTRACT: Antipsychotic-induced movement disorders are major side effects of antipsychotic drugs among schizophrenia patients, and include antipsychotic-induced parkinsonism (AIP) and tardive dyskinesia (TD). Substantial pharmacogenetic work has been done in this field, and several susceptibility variants have been suggested. In this paper, the genetics of antipsychotic-induced movement disorders is considered in a broader context. We hypothesize that genetic variants that are risk factors for AIP and TD may provide insights into the pathophysiology of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Since loss of dopaminergic stimulation (albeit pharmacological in AIP and degenerative in PD) is shared by the two clinical entities, genes associated with susceptibility to AIP may be modifier genes that influence clinical expression of PD motor sub-phenotypes, such as age at onset, disease severity, or rate of progression. This is due to their possible functional influence on compensatory mechanisms for striatal dopamine loss. Better compensatory potential might be beneficial at the early and later stages of the PD course. AIP vulnerability variants could also be related to latent impairment in the nigrostriatal pathway, affecting its functionality, and leading to subclinical dopaminergic deficits in the striatum. Susceptibility of PD patients to early development of l-DOPA induced dyskinesia (LID) is an additional relevant sub-phenotype. LID might share a common genetic background with TD, with which it shares clinical features. Genetic risk variants may predispose to both phenotypes, exerting a pleiotropic effect. According to this hypothesis, elucidating the genetics of antipsychotic-induced movement disorders may advance our understanding of multiple aspects of PD and it clinical course, rendering this a potentially rewarding field of study.Frontiers in Neurology 02/2015; 6:27. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2015.00027
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is an incurable progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Clinical presentation of PD stems largely from the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway, motivating experimental strategies of replacement based on cell therapy. Transplantation of dopaminergic neurons derived from embryonic stem cells significantly improves motor functions in rodent and non-human primate models of PD. However, protocols to generate dopaminergic neurons from embryonic stem cells generally meet with low efficacy and high risk of teratoma formation upon transplantation. To address these issues, we have pre-treated undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) with the DNA alkylating agent mitomycin C (MMC) before transplantation. MMC treatment of cultures prevented tumorigenesis in a 12 week follow-up after mESCs were injected in nude mice. In 6-OH-dopamine-lesioned mice, intrastriatal injection of MMC-treated mESCs markedly improved motor function without tumor formation for as long as 15 months. Furthermore, we show that halting mitotic activity of undifferentiated mESCs induces a four-fold increase in dopamine release following in vitro differentiation. Our findings indicate that treating mESCs with MMC prior to intrastriatal transplant is an effective to strategy that could be further investigated as a novel alternative for treatment of PD.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 04/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2015.00097 · 4.18 Impact Factor
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; DOI:10.2147/NDT.S46583 · 2.15 Impact Factor