CBBM Lecture "Sleep and circadian dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease: lessons from preclinical studies and future directions"

by Dr. Oliver Rawashdeh, Chronobiology & Sleep Lab, The University of Queensland, Australia

will take place on Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 from 16:00 to 17:00 hours in CBBM Building, Ground Floor, Seminar Room Levi-Montalcini.

Host: Prof. Henrik Oster
Institute of Neurobiology, University of Lübeck

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurological disease after dementia, affecting nearly 10 million people worldwide. Parkinson’s is characterized by a degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic systems and the occurrence of Lewy bodies containing pathological alpha-synuclein. The gold standard for treating PD is dopamine replacement therapy which, similarly to all other treatment options, focuses on the dopaminergic system and works by temporarily managing the motor symptoms. Despite decades of research, this approach has not resulted in a treatment that can stop disease progression. Also, none of the existing treatments come without a cost: they produce debilitating side effects and exacerbate the non-motor features of PD. Sleep dysfunction and circadian disturbances are among the earliest non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease, preceding motor manifestations for many years. So far, the contribution of each pathological presentation to the non-motor symptoms remains unclear. In my talk, I will address this issue by providing insights from preclinical models of PD into the impact of each pathology at the prodromal stage on alterations in sleep and circadian functions. I will also give an update on the current state and future directions of adapting chronobiological tools as promising therapeutics to alleviate symptoms of sleep and circadian disruption and slow disease progression.