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Polygence Scholar2022
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Varan Battu

Basis Independent Silicon ValleyClass of 2023Fremont, CA



  • "Historical, Current, and Future Therapeutic Strategies to treat Parkinson’s Disease" with mentor Andrea (Sept. 13, 2022)

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Historical, Current, and Future Therapeutic Strategies to treat Parkinson’s Disease

Started May 16, 2022

Abstract or project description

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and annually affects 3% of the population around the age of 60 years old. PD is a progressive disorder that occurs from the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Symptoms such as tremors, involuntary movement, bradykinesia, or rigidity are common in patients with PD. Many people continue to suffer from this disorder, a prominent example being Muhammad Ali who retired from his boxing career in his late 30s. Over the years, treatments to remedy the symptoms of the disease have been manufactured, such as Levodopa, dopamine agonists, and various types of inhibitors. Although Levodopa has been the prime treatment for Parkinson’s for over 40 years, complications have risen in long-term levodopa therapy where patients displayed symptoms such as dyskinesia, dystonia, and speech impairment. In order to treat these side effects, scientists have developed dopamine agents to play an adjunctive role in the treatment process which temporarily prevent these symptoms from appearing. Moreover, scientists are still designing new methods to counter the symptoms of PD, such as enteral infusion of levodopa gel and ion channel fibers which are more effective than the treatments utilized today. All in all, in this paper I present an overview of the mechanisms and advantages/disadvantages of levodopa, dopamine agonists, and various inhibitors while also mentioning new techniques that will be exploited in the future.