Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have added to evidence that the compound farnesol, found naturally in herbs, and berries and other fruits, prevents and reverses brain damage linked to Parkinson’s disease in mouse studies.
The compound, used in flavorings and perfume-making, can prevent the loss of neurons that produce dopamine in the brains of mice by deactivating PARIS, a key protein involved in the disease’s progression. Loss of such neurons affects movement and cognition, leading to hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors, muscle rigidity, confusion and dementia. Farnesol’s ability to block PARIS, say the researchers, could guide development of new Parkinson’s disease interventions that specifically target this protein.
Results of the new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, detail how the researchers identified farnesol’s potential by screening a large library of drugs to find those that inhibited PARIS.
Release date: 28 July 2021
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine