News Releases & Research Results An animal model for prodromal Parkinson’s disease, expected to contribute to development of new therapies to prevent the onset and progression of the disease

News Releases & Research Results


The results of the collaborative R&D led by Program Specific Assistant Professor Masashi Ikuno and Program Specific Associate Professor Hodaka Yamakado of the Department of Neurology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine with Tsukuba University, Juntendo University, and Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine.

The key results of R&D are as follows

  • The number of dopaminergic neurons decreased to around 50% at the time of diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease. Thus, it is required to make a diagnosis prior to disease onset (the prodromal stage) and start treatment. In this study, we successfully generated an animal model that faithfully reproduced the prodromal state.
  • Specifically, based on the experiments conducted with genetically engineered mice in which the protein that caused Parkinson’s disease, "α-synuclein", was increased in the expression site, dopaminergic neurons was decreased following prodromal symptoms, such as the reduced sense of smell and sleep disorders (REM sleep behavior disorder).
  • This successfully generated mice are useful as an animal model for the development of therapies to prevent the onset and progression of Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, the model is expected to lead to the identification of targets for drug discovery for treatment prior to the onset or in the very early stage.

This R&D project was conducted with the support of Brain Mapping by Integrated Neuro-technologies for Disease Studies by AMED.

The results of R&D were published in the online version of Brain, an international British academic journal, on December 9.



Last updated 12/10/19