Scientists claim they have identified the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain, 15 to 20 years before the onset of the symptoms. a small number of high-risk patients have detected malfunctions in the brain's serotonin system, which controls mood, sleep and movement.
Researchers at the Royal College of London argue that the discovery could lead to new tools for review and treatment.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition affecting about 1
The main symptoms are trembling, tremor and stiffness, but depression, memory problems and sleep are also common. 19659005] Traditionally, the disease is thought to be related to a chemical called dopamine that is missing in the brain of people with this condition.
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Although there is no cure, there are treatments for symptom control – and they focus on restoring the levels of dopamine.
But KCL's research team at Lancet Neurology suggests that changes in serotonin levels in the brain come first and may act as an early warning sign. with the progress of Parkinson
Researchers looked at the brains of 14 people from remote villages in southern Greece and Italy, who have rare mutations in the SNCA gene, making them almost certain to develop the disease.
Half of this group is already diagnosed. with half of them not showing any symptoms, making them ideal for the study of disease progression.
Comparing their brains with 65 patients with Parkinson's disease and 25 healthy volunteers, researchers have been able to determine early changes in the brain in patients.  They are found in the system of a serotonin, a chemical that has many functions in the brain, including mood, appetite, knowledge, well-being and movement.
The author of the study, Professor Marissa Politis, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurology at King, said that anomalies were detected long before traffic problems had started before dopamine levels did Have Changed Our results show that early detection of changes in the serotonin system may open doors for the development of new therapies that will slow down and ultimately prevent the progression of Parkinson's disease, "said Professor Derek Hill, Professor. of the medical images at London University College, said the research has provided some valuable ideas, but there are also some limitations.
"Their results can not be increased to larger studies," he said.
Secondly, the imaging method used is highly specialized and limited to a very small number of research centers, so it can not yet be used to diagnose patients or even to evaluate new treatments in large clinical trials. However, research has encouraged the approach to attempts to treat Parkinson's at the earliest possible stage, which is likely to be the best chance of preventing the growing number of people whose lives are being destroyed by this disgusting disease. "19659005] Dr Beki Port, ru lead researcher at the Parkinson UK charity, said: "Further research is needed to fully understand the significance of this finding – but if it is able to unlock an instrument to measure and monitor Parkinson's development, it can to change countless lives. "