Aspirin May Hold Promise For Treating Parkinson Disease

aspirin

A new study finds that a component of aspirin binds to an enzyme called GAPDH, which is believed to play a major role in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute and John Hopkins University discovered that salicylic acid, the primary breakdown product of aspirin, binds to GAPDH, thereby stopping it from moving into a cell’s nucleus, where it can trigger the cell’s death. The study, which appears in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) journal PLOS ONE, also suggests that derivatives of salicylic acid may hold promise for treating multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

Senior author Daniel Klessig, a professor at Boyce Thompson Institute and Cornell University, has studied the actions of salicylic acid for many years, but primarily in plants. Salicylic acid is the critical hormone for regulating plant immune system. Previous studies have identified several targets in plants that are affected by salicylic acid, and many of these targets have equivalents in humans.

In the new study, the researchers performed high-throughput screens to identify proteins in the human body that bind to salicylic acid. GAPDH, (Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase), is a central enzyme in glucose metabolism, but plays additional roles in the cell. Under oxidative stress—an excess of free radicals and other reactive compounds—GAPDH is modified and then enters the nucleus of neurons, where it enhances protein turnover, leading to cell death.

“A better understanding of how salicylic acid and its derivatives regulate the activities of GAPDH and HMGB1, coupled with the discovery of much more potent synthetic and natural derivatives of salicylic acid, provide great promise for the development of new and better salicylic acid-based treatments of a wide variety of prevalent, devastating diseases,” said Klessig.

At The NeuroCommunity Foundation we support research by serving as a liaison for local studies and by announcing opportunities for online studies on this interactive site. The number of Americans living with Parkinson’s disease has now surpassed one million, and 60,000 more are diagnosed each year. The gold standard of treatment – carbidopa/levodopa – was developed in the 60’s. The cure cannot come soon enough for patients and their families. Before you point a finger of blame at anyone else for the slowness of this process, ask yourself whether you are doing all you can by participating in trials and studies. According to Michael J. Fox Foundation 50,000+ people are on Fox Trial Finder.

Make sure you are on The NeuroCommunity Foundation Research Contact List, sign up on Fox Trial Finder, and most important: make a commitment to participate in surveys, wellness studies, and other research opportunities.

The NeuroCommunity Foundation is here for you:

For information about Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, support groups, wellness programs, education events, and local resources in northern Los Angeles county, Ventura county, Central Coast & Central Valley, contact us here or call 818-885-8623 to speak with Viviane Tondeur, Education Director, Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Information Center at CARE, The NeuroCommunity Foundation.

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