Parkinson’s cure hope as study shows disease can be spotted decades earlier
Parkinson’s disease could be identified decades earlier, potentially transforming efforts to find a cure, after a breakthrough by researchers.
The degenerative condition, the symptoms of which include tremors and memory loss, has long been linked to falling levels of dopamine, a chemical that transmits signals between the brain and body. However, a study published yesterday in Lancet Neurology provides the first evidence that another brain chemical plays a critical role during the earliest stages.
Subjects in their twenties and thirties with a rare genetic condition that means they are virtually certain to develop Parkinson’s in their late forties or fifties were found to have sharply reduced levels of the chemical messenger serotonin, which is linked to sleep, mood and appetite.
The findings suggest that serotonin…