by Ram Bhatt, Ph.D., CEO, CSO of ICBII

Potential Link Between Gut Hormone And Parkinson’s Dementia

Estimated 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop dementia during the course of their illness. Also, about 75% of PARKINSON’S patients will lose weight as a complication of PARKINSON’S. Those who lose weight are more likely to develop problems with their dementia and have symptoms such as hallucinations than those who do not.  Recent studies have found a potential link between a hormone ghrelin playing a role in Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). Known as the “Hunger Hormone”, Ghrelin plays a key role in controlling appetite and is produced in the stomach and small intestine, with a little bit of the hormone released in the pancreas and brain. Blood levels of ghrelin are highest before meals when hungry, returning to lower levels after mealtimes.

            In addition to controlling appetite, ghrelin appears to play a big role in neurological disorders such as dementia in PARKINSON’S. A Swansea-led research team says they have discovered that the gut hormone is a key regulator of new nerve cells in the adult brain [Cell Reports Medicine, 1, 100120, October 20, 2020].

            This hormone exists in two forms: Acylated-Ghrelin, a good form and Unacylated-Ghrelin, a bad form. AG Acylated-Ghrelin, produced in the body by the enzyme ghrelin-o-acyl-transferase (GOAT), crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB), albeit poorly, and binds to the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R) within the hippocampus and stimulates the gene expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The BDNF belongs to a family of neurotrophins that have a crucial role in survival and development of functional neurons in the brain. In the adult brain, BDNF also maintains high expression levels and regulates both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and activity-dependent plasticity.

            Mice injected with a single intra-peritoneal injection of Acylated-Ghrelin showed increased production of BDNF in their hippocampus, thus stimulating neural plasticity that is the communication between neurons. On the other hand, mice with dysfunctional GOAT enzyme did not produce Acylated-Ghrelin and had compromised neuronal plasticity. The mice with Unacylated-Ghrelin had decreased expression of BDNF in their brain and severely compromised neuronal activity.

Relevance to Humans

Of course, we are not mice and how does this mouse study relate to us humans? These researchers examined the role of Acylated-Ghrelin and Unacylated-Ghrelin in the brain, and compared blood collected from Parkinson’s disease patients diagnosed with dementia with cognitively intact PARKINSON’S patients and a control group. The teams found higher levels of Unacylated-Ghrelin, reduced hippocampal neurogenesis and brain plasticity in PARKINSON’S patients with dementia than the control group with cognitively intact PARKINSON’S patients.

            Medical Significance - Acylated-Ghrelin treatment of Parkinson’s patients with dementia is likely to reverse dementia according to these latest findings.

Also, these findings highlight that the Acylated-Ghrelin or Unacylated-Ghrelin could serve as a biomarker, which would allow earlier detection of dementia in people with Parkinson’s disease.

            How Can ICB International, Inc., (“ICBII”), Transform Acylated-Ghrelin into Useful Therapy for PDD Patients?

            Because Acylated-Ghrelin has a very low brain uptake ICBII can improve the same by using its SMART Molecules technology as a carrier to deliver Acylated-Ghrelin across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system in therapeutically effective concentrations. 

            WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP get ICBII’s drugs to market faster? The joy of being a part of this historical event can be had by helping ICBI find the funds to bring these trials to fruition through your investing, and by finding others with the financial ability and humanitarian mindset to accomplish the - until now - impossible. Please contact ICBI directly through their website http://icbii.com/ or by phone 858-455-9880, or contact Jo Rosen at PRO for a personal introduction to the scientists.

IMAGINE the world without Parkinson’s, MSA, or Alzheimer’s disease. JUST IMAGINE.

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Updated: August 16, 2017