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Reference April 17, 2002
Green tea polyphenols to fight Parkinson's
Related topics: Research
The powerful antioxidant properties of polyphenols in green tea
could help protect against the onset of Parkinson's disease,
according to new research from Baylor College of Medicine in
Polyphenols in green tea have already been shown to help protect
against cancer and heart disease, and indeed earlier studies had
also shown that they might protect against Parkinson's disease.
However, this is the first time that the way in which they act to
protect against the disease has been shown.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Academy of
Neurology earlier this week, the study's lead author Tianhong Pan
said that Parkinson's disease was characterised by the selective
cell death of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain called
substantia nigra and by a marked decrease in dopamine
neurotransmitter produced by these neurons.
"We tested the levels of dopamine uptake density in a
controlled study of mice and the protective effects on dopaminergic
neurons against neurotoxin MPP+-induced injury before and after
treatment with polyphenol," said Pan.
"Our results indicate the mechanism, or action, of
polyphenol is to inhibit the uptake of dopamine or MPP+ by blocking
dopamine transporter (DAT), suggesting that its protective effect
in Parkinson's disease is its ability to block the DAT-dependent
uptake of environmental neurotoxin."
He stressed that the clinical effects of polyphenols on human
Parkinson's disease patients remain to be studied.
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