Washington, Jan 21 (ANI): A new American research has found that Parkinson's patients develop brain abnormalities before symptoms of the disease start showing.
The study, which appears in the Journal of Neuroscience, also suggests that parts of the network seem to respond in a last attempt to rescue the brain.
Chris Tang, an author of the study and a Parkinson's investigator at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY, said: "We were surprised."
Researchers at Feinstein scientists have been studying Parkinson's patients for years. They took snapshots of the brain over the course of four years in 15 patients and an equal number of normal volunteers. In the beginning, the team identified two discrete abnormal networks, one that was involved in mediating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and another that regulates the cognitive dysfunction, which develops in many patients with this disorder.
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease initially show on one side of the body, which enabled the scientists to study the brain scans at multiple times and compare the symptoms to changes in the brain networks over time.
The plan of the latest study was to watch the activity of the network on the side of the brain that controls the side of the body, which is free of symptoms. As the disease develops, both sides of the body ultimately become involved.
Scientists under the leadership of David Eidelberg, head of the Feinstein's Center for Neurosciences, saw that Initially the motor network that governed the side of the body with initial symptoms became abnormal.
They then found that the motor network on the other side of the brain was also abnormal, even though symptoms appeared only two years later.
The brain network, which governs cognition began showing abnormalities after another two years had passed and this was four years after their diagnosis.
The brain scans measure glucose and dopamine, the levels of which drastically fall in the disease process.
The average age of the patients in the study is 58 and no one has yet to develop cognition problems. (ANI)