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According to research published in the Journal of Controlled Release, scientists have created a drug to treat Parkinson's disease which is activated by light. This drug works when shining a light on an optical fiber implanted in the brain and in a trial with mice, it has been shown to reduce symptoms of the disease and boost motor function.
Researchers have previously determined that the A2A receptor may be at the center of brain disorder treatment but since this receptor is located all throughout the brain, it can be tricky to isolate a specific area. This light-activated drug may make that easier, allowing for a more targeted and effective treatment approach.
As of today, around 10 million people around the world are currently living with Parkinson's disease, which is marked by tremors, coordination issues, depression, anxiety, and other debilitating side-effects. By creating a drug that can control where and when it is released in the brain, scientists can get closer to reversing some of these symptoms and improving patients' health and quality of life. These findings suggest that the drug may treat the symptoms of other movement disorders as well, but more research is required to understand the full scope of its potential.