In a new study, researchers found vitamin B12 may inhibit a key enzyme in Parkinson’s disease.
The finding may help develop new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
The research was conducted by an international team from the U.S., Spain, Greece and UK.
Parkinson’s is the most common, chronic neurodegenerative movement disorder in the world.
The disease affects 1% of the global population over 70 years of age.
Currently, there is no cure for this disease, and the available treatments focus on addressing its symptoms but cannot slow down its progression.
Previous research has shown that the inheritable variants of the disease are mainly linked to mutations of the gene that encodes the LRRK2 enzyme.
Researchers had established the link between one of the mutations in this enzyme and Parkinson’s patients.
According to the researchers in the study, the LRRK2 enzyme is one of the most important therapeutic targets for developing new drugs to combat inheritable Parkinson’s.
In the current study, the team found that AdoCbl, one of the active forms of vitamin B12, could act as an inhibitor of the kinase activity of LRRK2 in cultured cells and brain tissue.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps support our energy and general wellbeing.
It plays a role in the blood where it’s needed for the production of red blood cells.
In addition, the vitamin plays a role in the nervous system.It’s involved the formation of the myelin sheath around nerve cells.
Myelin insulates nerve cells and increases the speed at which they communicate.
In the study, the researchers found this active vitamin B12 form could strongly prevent the neurotoxicity of the LRRK2 variants linked to Parkinson’s in cultured cells of primary rodents.
The researchers suggest that vitamin B12 comprises a new class of modulator of the kinase activity of LRRK2.
The new finding is a huge step forward for Parkinson’s treatment because it is a neuroprotective vitamin in animal models and has a mechanism unlike that of currently existing inhibitors.
It could be used as a basis to develop new drugs to combat hereditary Parkinson’s linked to pathogenic variants of the LRRK2 enzyme.
One author of the study is Iban Ubarretxena, an Ikerbasque researcher and director of the Biofisika Institute (CSIC-UPV/EHU).
The study is published in Cell Research.
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