Can caffeine slow down Parkinson’s disease ??

Hello everyone , its time for talk back Thursday .  Today we are here to discuss on an interesting topic – whether caffeine can slow down Parkinson’s disease or not?

Recently two caffeine based chemical compounds have been developed by researchers from the University of Saskatchewan .A protein called ‘alpha – synuclein’ is involved in dopamine regulation and was the focus of research. In people suffering from Parkinson dopamine producing neurons die because AS is misfolded into a compact structure. To make things worse AS appears to act as  prion disease.

Researcher Jeremy Lee explained that the main focus was not lead on trying to boost the dopamine producing cells. The aim was to prevent alpha synuclein from misfolding in first place.   The current treatments work only if dopamine producing neurons are alive.

The chemistry for this solution was challenging. The researchers synthesized 30 different “bifunctional dimer” drugs. These drugs contain molecules that link two different substances that are known to affect cells producing dopamine. Steered by literature that shows a caffeine “scaffold” that protects against Parkinson’s, the team added other compounds with known effects. These included aminoindan, a research chemical similar to the Parkinson’s drug rasagiline, the diabetes drug metformin and nicotine. 

Finally   the team was able to discovered the two caffeinated compounds that prevents AS protein from clumping in a yeast model of Parkinson’s disease and allowing the cells to grow normally.     

But we all are aware that caffeine causes restlessness , insomnia ,  anxiety etc . Researchers are still trying to find out whether it will have same effect on patients suffering from Parkinson disease.

‘The effects of caffeine is still a controversial topic.’

It is a great research that could successfully slow down Parkinson’s disease.

The findings are published in journal of AS Chemical Neuroscience.

Do let us know if you have any queries.


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