Compound in Essential Oils May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Recent research conducted by scientists at Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Suwon, South Korea, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, U.S., finds that a compound called farnesol, which can be found in such essential oils as citronella, lemongrass, and balsam, may prevent the death of dopamine neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease and help treat the disease in the future.Compound in Essential Oils May Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease

For the study, the scientists began by screening a large library of drugs to find a compound that is able to inhibit a protein called PARIS, which is involved in the death of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s. During the screening process, they identified farnesol as a potent inhibitor of PARIS.

Prof. David Dexter, Ph.D., associate director of research at the charity Parkinson’s UK, who was not involved in the study, comments: “Parkinson’s is what happens when dopamine-producing cells in the brain die, so this study is important as it highlights a new pathway that could target and protect these brain cells in a person with Parkinson’s.”

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