AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


Caffeine-based Compounds Show Promise Against Parkinson's Disease

Compounds prevent key protein from mis-folding, preventing death of dopamine-producing brain cells

A teem of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan has developed two caffeine-based chemical compounds that show promise in preventing the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. 

Parkinson’s disease attacks the nervous system, causing uncontrolled shakes, muscle stiffness and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly in middle-aged and elderly people. It is caused by the loss of brain cells (neurons) that produce dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter that allows neurons to “talk” to each other. The team focused on a protein called a-synuclein (AS), which is involved in dopamine regulation.

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