Researchers from Johns Hopkins said they have added to existing evidence showing that the compound farnesol, found naturally in herbs, and berries and other fruits, prevents and reverses brain damage linked to Parkinson’s disease. These are the results of a new study published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
The farnesol compound, used in flavourings and perfume-making, can prevent the loss of neurons that produce dopamine in the brains of mice by deactivating PARIS, a key protein involved in the disease’s progression. Loss of such neurons affects movement and cognition, leading to hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors, muscle rigidity, confusion and dementia. The researchers said farnesol’s ability to block PARIS, could guide development of new Parkinson’s disease interventions that specifically target this protein.