Every year in Canada 6,600 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While the cause of the disease is poorly understood there are environmental factors and genes that have been linked with the condition. One such gene is GBA1 which, when mutated, is a known risk factor that predisposes people to develop the disease at a younger age and have a faster onset of symptoms.
The mutated GBA1 gene inhibits the natural release of a protein called GCase which helps prevent the build-up of another protein alpha-synuclein in the brain. Researchers from University College have been using an unexpected medication to try an increase the amount of GCase in Parkinson’s patients; cough syrup. One of the active ingredients ambroxol has been the focus of a small-scale human trial, where patients took a daily dose of the medication for six months.
This study confirmed the efficacy of ambroxol in reducing harmful alpha-synuclein levels in the human brain by increasing levels of GCase in the body. Hopefully these results can be replicated in other studies and prove that ambroxol is capable of slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Source: Science Alert
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