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Amphetamines reverse Parkinson's disease symptoms in mice

t prove efficacious in patients with Parkinson's disease."

Many of the previously developed animal models of Parkinson's disease have reduced, but detectable, levels of dopamine and do not show all the characteristics of Parkinson's disease, making studies of potential therapeutic methods in those animals less clear, Gainetdinov said. On the other hand, animals permanently lacking dopamine cannot survive, he added.

While the results are promising, the researchers cautioned, Ecstasy's ability to stimulate movement in the mice occurred only with high doses of the drug. Such high doses might destroy nerve tissue in normal mice and in humans, who are generally more sensitive than mice to such drugs.

"Amphetamines are controversial drugs, and there's no reason to suggest that amphetamines themselves should be used to treat Parkinson's," Gainetdinov said. "However, the chemical structure of amphetamines may lead to new, amphetamine-like drugs, that might provide a more lasting and beneficial alternative to L-DOPA in the treatment of Parkinson's disease."


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Contact: Kendall Morgan
kendall.morgan@duke.edu
919-684-4148
Duke University Medical Center
1-Aug-2005


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