Parkinsonian symptoms in marmosets without permanent damage to body cells
28 December 2015
In 1982, it was observed that MPTP, a by-product of the drug MPPP, caused early parkinsonian symptoms in drug users who had used drugs contaminated with MPTP. It is unknown how MPTP causes these symptoms. Nowadays, MPTP is used in research on Parkinson's disease.
Currently treatments that halt Parkinson's disease are not available. Scientists hope that more insight into the disease process will lead to better ways to intervene in this process resulting in stopping disease progression.
BPRC scientists have studied the disease process by inducing parkinsonian symptoms in marmoset monkeys through the administration of MPTP. MPTP-induced parkinsonian clinical symptoms increased in severity during exposure, and marmosets recovered after MPTP administration was ended. The researchers could not find any damage in the brains of the animals. This means that parkinsonian symptoms may occur without detectable damage to body cells. Moreover, the study shows that parkinsonian symptoms may be reversible when diagnosed and treated early. This research was published in the journal Neuroscience (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26431624).