LONDON, September 5 (SPIS MedWire). Parkinson's disease may not be restricted to the brain; it could also cause the loss of nerve terminals in the heart, according to new research. Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Maryland, USA, carried out positron emission tomography scans on 29 Parkinson's disease patients. Nearly all had reduced numbers of norepinephrine-producing nerve endings in the heart. This decrease was not related to whether the patients had taken the Parkinson's drug levodopa, or to the duration or severity of the disease. These findings could also explain some Parkinson's symptoms such as postural hypotension, dizziness and fainting.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?