Researchers have discovered that the neurotransmitter adenosine effectively acts as a brake to dopamine, another well-known neurotransmitter involved in motor control. The discovery could immediately suggest new avenues of drug development to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, a movement disorder where the loss of dopamine-producing cells has been widely implicated as a cause.
Parkinson's disease affects 3% of population over 65 years old, and the average age of onset is 60. Regarding juvenile Parkinson, which represents the rest of all Parkison's cases, the disease begins before 40 years old. Now, a group of researchers has deciphered the molecular mechanism by which a mutation of the adenosine type 1 receptor gene is associated with juvenile Parkinson's.
Researchers have found that COVID-19 activates the same inflammatory response in the brain as Parkinson's disease. The discovery identified a potential future risk for neurodegenerative conditions in people who've had COVID-19, but also a possible treatment.