Parkinson's Drug to Treat Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. It is a severe public health problem worldwide, and no pharmacological agents have been specifically approved for its treatment yet. Researchers at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology found that serotonin antagonist Pimavanserin may help in treating NAFLD by regulating lipid metabolism in the liver. Pimavanserin is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis. It is also under research for the treatment of Alzheimer's psychosis and major depressive disorders. How Pimavanserin can help treat NAFLD? In this study, the scientists focused on a well-known neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin deficiency in the central nervous system can cause various brain disorders. However, serotonin is also found in the gastrointestinal tract as "peripheral" serotonin, which has different functions altogether, such as regulating lipid metabolism in the liver. In a previous study- peripheral serotonin, as a drug target with knockout mice models were reported. This study reported that these mice showed reduced liver weight, hepatic lipid accumulation, and hepatic triglyceride content and improved NAFLD activity. These findings formed the basis of the study to research on new peripheral serotonin antagonists. The scientists selected a CNS drug- pimavanserin used to treat Parkinson's, which acts as a serotonin antagonist, mimicking its effect in the CNS. They then structurally modified this drug so that it cannot permeate the blood-brain barrier. When tested the compound in obese mice with impaired liver function, the mice showed good improvement in fatty liver disease symptoms, such as improved glucose tolerance. Also, their body fat decreased while lean body mass increased. Thus, through the chemical optimization of pimavanserin, they identified a new peripheral agent for the possible treatment of NAFLD. Although this novel drug candidate is yet to be tested in humans, these findings show that it has remarkable potential in treating fatty liver disease and hope it will offer relief to patients with NAFLD.

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very informative

Thank you doctor
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thanks for information

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