Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results from the loss of dopaminergic neurons in Substantia Niagra. Commonly used therapies in PD, are symptomatic relief drugs and they do not prevent the PD progression or loss of these dopaminergic neurons. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been shown promising results in promoting dopaminergic neurons survival and protecting neurons in PD, but discovering the best drug delivery approach in central nervous system disorders due to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), study the kinetics of neurotransmitter release in real-time and the need for non-invasive drug delivery should be considered.
I am working on an intranasal GDNF gene therapy, as a new treatment approach for Parkinson's disease. The aim of my project is to identify changes in neurotransmitter kinetics in real-time in the region of the rat brain called dorsal striatum following intranasal treatment with GDNF DNA nanoparticles and to look for the impact of such a treatment on neuronal inflammation in the striatum and other brain regions.