NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

People with forms of early-onset PD may benefit from boosting niacin in diet, research suggests

Tuesday January 10, 2017

University of Leicester

ScienceDaily - People with certain forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease may benefit from boosting the amount of niacin in their diet, according to new research from the University of Leicester.

Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is found in a variety of foods, including nuts and meat.

The team from the MRC Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester studied fruit flies with a mutation that mimics the human disease.

The results of the study, which is funded by the Medical Research Council, reveal a mechanism for how early-onset Parkinson's affects the brain, and point to other drugs that may also help this subset of patients.

Dr Miguel Martins, who led the study, explained: "Parkinson's disease occurs when dopaminergic neurons in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra are lost. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but in some hereditary cases, the main problem is unhealthy mitochondria -- the organelles that power the cell.

"Mutations in genes such as PINK1 prevent cells from clearing out the defective powerhouses. When they accumulate, neurons can't get enough energy and die. The faulty mitochondria also release toxic molecules that damage their genes encoded by DNA.

"Curiously enough, there's a compound in the body that's important for both energy generation and DNA repair. It's called NAD. With all the mitochondrial damage going on, we wondered if in cases of Parkinson's the molecule ends up in short supply."

To investigate this, the team fed fruit flies with the mutated PINK1 gene food supplemented with niacin, which is made into NAD inside the body.

With this extra source of NAD, the flies had far fewer faulty mitochondria than their mutant peers on a regular diet.

The vitamin also prevented the flies from losing neurons.

The team of neuroscientists then examined whether stopping DNA repair from depleting NAD would protect the flies with Parkinson's -- and found that genetically switching this function off kept mitochondria healthy and neurons alive, as well as improved the flies' strength, mobility and lifespan.

Dr Martins added: "The results suggest that in familial Parkinson's, available NAD is critical for keeping mitochondria in shape and the disease at bay. Drugs that block NAD-consuming DNA repair already exist to treat cancer. Loading up on niacin probably can't hurt either.

"While neither of these would be cures, they would expand treatment options for Parkinson's patients with faulty mitochondria.

"This study strengthens the therapeutic potential for Vitamin B3/niacin-based dietary interventions and PARP inhibition in the treatment of Parkinson's disease."

A video explaining the research in more depth is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e4oWI50IWg&feature=youtu.be


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of LeicesterNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susann Lehmann, Samantha H. Y. Loh, L. Miguel Martins. Enhancing NAD salvage metabolism is neuroprotective in a PINK1 model of Parkinson's diseaseBiology Open, 2016; bio.022186 DOI: 10.1242/bio.022186
Can't get enough? Sign up for weekly Parkinson's News updates.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170110092059.htm

Recent News

Oct 17 - Scientists Identify Structure of PINK1, Key Parkinson’s-protective Protein
Oct 17 - Diabetes drug cuts Parkinson's risk by 28 percent, study finds
Oct 10 - Advances in Brain Pacemaker Reduces Tremors, Helps Parkinson's Sufferers Live a More Normal Life
Oct 10 - Medical History Could Help Predict Parkinson's Disease Risk Long Before Diagnosis
Oct 3 - Changes in Olfactory Bulb Explain Loss of Smell in Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds
Oct 3 - Sleep Disturbances May Worsen Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, Study Suggests
Sep 12 - Australian Researchers Develop New Diagnostic Tool to Spot Early Signs of Parkinson’s
Sep 11 - GeneFo Webinar to Focus on Using Humor to Manage Parkinson’s Disease
Sep 6 - Parkinson’s and the ‘D’ word
Sep 6 - Compounds in Asthma Drugs Might Be Used as Parkinson’s Treatment
Sep 5 - AstraZeneca Joins Takeda, Berg to Advance Development of Parkinson’s Disease Therapies
Sep 1 - Stem Cell Transplant Trial in Parkinson’s Patients Planned After Test in Japan Succeeds in Monkeys
Sep 1 - Titan to Start Phase 1/2 Study of Subdermal Implant to Deliver Requip to Parkinson’s Patients
Aug 30 - FDA Refuses Acorda’s Inbrija New Drug Application Due to Manufacturing Questions
Aug 23 - Support Groups: Are They for You?
Aug 22 - Internet Visits with Parkinson’s Specialist Can Be as Effective as In-person Visits, Trial Finds
Aug 21 - Cavion’s New CMO to Lead Cav3 Platform Development for Neurological Diseases
Aug 15 - Singing Helps Early-stage Parkinson’s Patients Retain Speech, Respiratory Control, Studies Show
Aug 14 - 16 Tips to Increase Your Mobility Confidence While Living With Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 10 - Boxers are fighting back against Parkinson’s