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article imageStudy: Sweet molecule shows promise against Parkinson’s disease

By E. Hector Corsi     Feb 5, 2013 in Health
New research shows that trehalose can break up proteins that are implicated in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Trehalose is a naturally occurring sugar in plants, yeast and fungi, and could potentially treat PD.
The lab study was conducted by researchers Wen-Bo Yu and colleagues at the Department of Neurology of Huashan Hospital, Fudan University in Shanghai, China. They showed that low doses of trehalose break up preformed A53T alpha-synuclein (AS) fibrils (fibres). Aggregation of alpha-synuclein fibrils is a cause of PD progression, and thus blocking this process could be an effective preventative measure. When high doses of trehalose were used, the formation of toxic mature A53T AS fibrils was completely prevented. Researchers state that animal research is required to evaluate the potential of trehalose as a treatment against PD. The study was published in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
Trehalose increases the degradation of damaged proteins by a process called autophagy, and increases the clearance of alpha-synuclein implicated in PD.
Trehalose could be a potential preventative agent against PD and help treat the disease. Patients should advise their neurologist if they intend to use trehalose supplements.
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