A team of researchers may have discovered a new technique that could be very useful in treating or counteracting Parkinson’s disease. It would be a non-invasive technique that precisely affects a certain group of brain cells that are the basis for the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Thanks to brain imaging technologies, researchers have discovered that a method already announced in 2015 that saw a gene therapy to hit and stimulate particular nerve cells to combat the disease, can also stimulate another type of neuron.
This is what the researchers explain in a scientific article in the journal Neurotherapeutics describing a communication pathway between cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons, two neurotransmission systems in the brain. In essence, by stimulating the former, it is possible to stimulate the latter.
The researchers tested this new method on rats with Parkinson’s disease. They stimulated both groups of nerve cells and observed that rats seemed to make a complete recovery without even showing the classic signs of Parkinson’s postural impairment.
Ilse Pienaar, the senior author of the study, explains in the press release presenting the same study that she and her team found that by activating cholinergic neurons, they were performing direct interactions with dopaminergic neurons.
This means that it is possible to stimulate dopaminergic neurons, although not directly, and this can restart dopamine production and reduce Parkinson’s symptoms.