Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling prevents formation of L-Dopa induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease


City University of New York School of Medicine


Andreas H Kottmann, Ph.D., Associate Professor, CSOM


Replenishing dopamine levels in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients is an efficacious treatment for many of the symptoms that are caused by the relentlessly progressive degeneration of dopamine producing neurons.  However, the drug, Levo-Dopamine, causes the appearance of uncontrollable, purposeless and utterly debilitating movements, so called “Levo-DopamineInduced Dyskinesia” (LID), in most patients after several years of treatment. Kottmann discovered that dopamine producing neurons in the healthy brain do not only produce dopamine and other neurotransmitters but also the secreted cell communication factor Shh. He also found that the pharmacological stimulation of Shh signaling during Levo-Dopamine therapy reduces LID formation and expression across rodent and primate models of PD. The researcher is now exploring new treatments based on the modulation of the Shh pathway in PD patients, as  well as Shh signaling based biomarkers that might identify different categories and stages of PD.


2013 to present