Folic acid could suppress Parkinson’s – new study

Posted by egg3 at Jan 23, 2014 08:59 AM |
Research in laboratory setting uses common vitamin to improve cell signaling and rescue problems associated with neurodegenerative disease
Folic acid could suppress Parkinson’s – new study

Dr L. Miguel Martins with the research team

Medical Research Council scientists (pictured) based at the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University have discovered an ‘amazing new advance’ in the battle against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

The team, lead by Dr L. Miguel Martins, was investigating chemical pathways in the cells of flies and identified an unexpected pathway that, through the manipulation of a particular gene, led to the creation of a ‘super-fly’ - thereby combatting the effects of Parkinson’s features in the insects.

flyThe research, which has been published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, discovered that by providing cells with a key product that improves their signaling, it stimulated mitochondria function and, most interestingly, rescues the problems in Parkinson’s disease, both in fly models as well as cultured human cells.

Although the findings are a long way from developing a treatment, the identification of this new mechanism could have broader significance for mitochondrial diseases as well as opening up new possibilities in other areas of neurodegeneration. The MRC believes that research such as this, which looks at the fundamental mechanisms of these devastating diseases, is absolutely vital.

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