Parkinson’s Disease
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate51%
Submission to final decision75 days
Acceptance to publication35 days
CiteScore3.500
Impact Factor2.704

Article of the Year 2020

Update on the Management of Parkinson’s Disease for General Neurologists

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Parkinson’s Disease publishes research related to the epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis, genetics, cellular, molecular and neurophysiology, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

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Parkinson's Disease maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

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Research Article

Identification of Potential Core Genes in Parkinson’s Disease Using Bioinformatics Analysis

Purpose. This study aimed to explore new core genes related to the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and core genes that can lead to the progression of PD. Methods. The expression profile data of GSE42966, which contained six substantia nigra tissues isolated from normal individuals and nine substantia nigra tissues isolated from patients with PD, were obtained from Gene Expression Omnibus. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, followed by functional enrichment analysis and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network construction. We then identified 10 hub genes and analyzed their expression in different Braak stages. Results. A total of 773 DEGs were identified that were significantly enriched in metabolic pathways. Ten hub genes were identified through the PPI network, namely, GNG3, MAPK1, FPR1, ATP5B, GNG2, PRKACA, HRAS, HSPA8, PSAP, and GABBR2. The expression of HRAS was different in patients with PD with Braak stages 3 and 4. Conclusion. These 10 hub genes and the metabolic pathways they are enriched in may be involved in the pathogenesis of PD. HRAS may have potential value in predicting the progression of PD.

Research Article

Altered Regional Homogeneity and Functional Connectivity during Microlesion Period after Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease

Background. Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) undergoing deep brain electrode implantation experience a temporary improvement in motor symptoms before the electrical stimulation begins. We usually call this the microlesion effect (MLE), but the mechanism behind it is not clear. Purpose. This study aimed to assess the alterations in brain functions at the regional and whole-brain levels, using regional homogeneity (ReHo) and functional connectivity (FC), during the postoperative microlesion period after deep brain stimulation (DBS) in PD patients. Method. Resting-state functional MRI data were collected from 27 PD patients before and after the first day of DBS and 12 healthy controls (HCs) in this study. The ReHo in combination with FC analysis was used to investigate the alterations of regional brain activity in all the subjects. Results. There were increased ReHo in the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit (left supplementary motor area and bilateral paracentral lobule), whereas decreased ReHo in the default mode network (DMN) (left angular gyrus, bilateral precuneus), prefrontal cortex (bilateral middle frontal gyrus), and the cerebello-thalamocortical (CTC) circuit (Cerebellum_crus2/1_L) after DBS. In addition, we also found abnormal FC in the lingual gyrus, cerebellum, and DMN. Conclusion. Microlesion of the thalamus caused by electrode implantation can alter the activity of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit, prefrontal cortex, DMN, and CTC circuit and induce abnormal FC in the lingual gyrus, cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, and DMN among PD patients. The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of MLE.

Research Article

Neuroprotective Effect of Intrastriatal Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester Treatment in 6-OH Dopamine Model of Parkinson’s Disease in Rats

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, and the main cause of PD is still not known. Until now, no cure for Parkinson’s disease is yet in sight. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is a polyphenolic component of the propolis, which can be derived from honeybee hive propolis. We aimed to determine the effect of intrastriatal CAPE administration as a neuroprotective agent on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced PD model. Adult male Wistar rats weighing 280–320 g were used. The PD model was induced with unilateral intrastriatal 6-OHDA injection. Treatment groups received 20 μmol/5 μL/4 day and 80 μmol/5 μL/4 day CAPE 24 h after 6-OHDA injection. Eight days after 6-OHDA application, behavioral studies (adhesive tape removal test, open-field test, cylinder test, and apomorphine-induced asymmetric rotational behavior) were performed once more to compare the effects of CAPE on behavior tests. Striatal histological verifications, immunohistochemistry, and stereological quantitation were performed. Our results for the first time showed that, besides improving the motor performance, CAPE treatment also prevents 6-OHDA-induced loss of TH-positive neurons. From our results, CAPE may be a promising clinical agent in the treatment of PD.

Research Article

Effect of NTN and Lmx1α on the Notch Signaling Pathway during the Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Dopaminergic Neuron-Like Cells

Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (h-BMSCs) have the potential to differentiate into dopaminergic neuron-like cells to treat Parkinson’s disease. The Notch signaling pathway has been implicated in the regulation of cell fate decisions such as differentiation of BMSCs. This study investigated changes in the expression of Notch-related genes in the differentiation of BMSCs in vitro into dopaminergic (DA) neuron-like cells. BMSCs transfected with empty lentiviral vectors served as the control group and those transfected with NTN and Lmx1α recombinant lentiviral vectors served as the experimental group. After induction and culture of NTN and Lmx1α-transfected h-BMSCs for 21 days, the cells exhibited features of dopaminergic neuron-like cells, which were observed by transmission and scanning electron microscopy and verified by immunofluorescence of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT). These induced cells could secrete dopamine and had basic action potentials. Expression of the neural stem cell (NSC) markers, including octamer-binding protein (Oct4), paired box gene 6 (Pax6), and sex determining region Y-box 1 (SOX1), increased on day 14 of induction and decreased on day 21 of induction during differentiation. The human Notch signaling pathway PCR array showed a differential expression of Notch-related genes during the differentiation of h-BMSCs into DA neuron-like cells in vitro relative to that in the control group. In conclusion, h-BMSCs overexpressing NTN and Lmx1α can successfully be induced to differentiate into dopaminergic neuron-like cells with a neuronal phenotype exhibiting fundamental biological functions in vitro, and NTN and Lmx1α may affect the expression of Notch-related genes during differentiation.

Research Article

Action Imagery and Observation in Neurorehabilitation for Parkinson’s Disease (ACTION-PD): Development of a User-Informed Home Training Intervention to Improve Functional Hand Movements

Background. Parkinson’s disease (PD) causes difficulties with hand movements, which few studies have addressed therapeutically. Training with action observation (AO) and motor imagery (MI) improves performance in healthy individuals, particularly when the techniques are applied simultaneously (AO + MI). Both AO and MI have shown promising effects in people with PD, but previous studies have only used these separately. Objective. This article describes the development and pilot testing of an intervention combining AO + MI and physical practice to improve functional manual actions in people with PD. Methods. The home-based intervention, delivered using a tablet computer app, was iteratively designed by an interdisciplinary team, including people with PD, and further developed through focus groups and initial field testing. Preliminary data on feasibility were obtained via a six-week pilot randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN 11184024) of 10 participants with mild to moderate PD (6 intervention; 4 treatment as usual). Usage and adherence data were recorded during training, and semistructured interviews were conducted with participants. Exploratory outcome measures included dexterity and timed action performance. Results. Usage and qualitative data provided preliminary evidence of acceptability and usability. Exploratory outcomes also suggested that subjective and objective performance of manual actions should be tested in a larger trial. The importance of personalisation, choice, and motivation was highlighted, as well as the need to facilitate engagement in motor imagery. Conclusions. The results indicate that a larger RCT is warranted, and the findings also have broader relevance for the feasibility and development of AO + MI interventions for PD and other conditions.

Research Article

α-Synuclein E46K Mutation and Involvement of Oxidative Stress in a Drosophila Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an age-associated neurodegenerative condition in which some genetic variants are known to increase disease susceptibility on interaction with environmental factors inducing oxidative stress. Different mutations in the SNCA gene are reported as the major genetic contributors to PD. E46K mutation pathogenicity has not been investigated as intensive as other SNCA gene mutations including A30P and A53T. In this study, based on the GAL4-UAS binary genetic tool, transgenic Drosophila melanogaster flies expressing wild-type and E46K-mutated copies of the human SNCA gene were constructed. Western blotting, immunohistochemical analysis, and light and confocal microscopy of flies’ brains were undertaken along with the survival rate measurement, locomotor function assay, and ethanol and paraquat (PQ) tolerance to study α-synuclein neurotoxicity. Biochemical bioassays were carried out to investigate the activity of antioxidant enzymes and alterations in levels of oxidative markers following damages induced by human α-synuclein to the neurons of the transgenic flies. Overexpression of human α-synuclein in the central nervous system of these transgenic flies led to disorganized ommatidia structures and loss of dopaminergic neurons. E46K α-synuclein caused remarkable climbing defects, reduced survivorship, higher ethanol sensitivity, and increased PQ-mediated mortality. A noticeable decline in activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase enzymes besides considerable increase in the levels of lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species was observed in head capsule homogenates of α-synuclein-expressing flies, which indicates obvious involvement of oxidative stress as a causal factor in SNCAE46K neurotoxicity. In all the investigations, E46K copy of the SNCA gene was found to impose more severe defects when compared to wild-type SNCA. It can be concluded that the constructed Drosophila models developed PD-like symptoms that facilitate comparative studies of molecular and cellular pathways implicated in the pathogenicity of different α-synuclein mutations.

Parkinson’s Disease
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate51%
Submission to final decision75 days
Acceptance to publication35 days
CiteScore3.500
Impact Factor2.704
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.