Per Svenningsson's research group

Neuropharmacology - movement disorders

Parkinson´s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorders with a largely unknown etiology. The next breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinsons disease (PD) will be aimed at interference or blockade of disease progression, based on insights into the underlying pathogenic process. The development of this new generation of disease-modifying drugs is hampered by the lack of adequate diagnostics and biomarkers that reflects early signs of disease. The motor signs of PD are often preceded by non-motor symptoms including depression, anosmia, REM sleep disorder and constipation.

It is important to develop an improved knowledge of these clinical signs of early PD as neuroprotective and restorative therapies for PD would ideally be offered at an early stage to effectively modify disease progression. The laboratory develops cell and animal models to mimic the progressive disease progression in PD. Biochemical, histological, pharmacological, molecular biological and behavioral techniques are used in these studies.

In clinical studies with patients, clinical ratings, biochemical and imaging (PET and MRI) analyses are being made. A special emphasis is placed on non-motor symptoms of PD and the identification of biomarkers. The information is transferred to a newly developed PD quality register. The research team also studies the pathophysiology of unipolar depression in animal models as well as in patient samples. In addition to PD, other movement disorders including Huntington's disease and ataxia are studied.

Research Projects

  • Receptor dynamics in neurons Focus on adaptor proteins and lipid rafts
  • Studies of progressive Parkinsonism in rodents
  • Studies of depression in Parkinson
  • Parkinson´s disease - Search for clinical biomarkers of various forms of Parkinsonism
  • Clinical trial of 5-HT1A/B receptor agonism against L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in patients with advanced Parkinson´s disease
  • Research on the interactive effects of genetic variants, epigenetics, and gene expression, on progression in Parkinson´s (PD) and Huntington´s (HD) disease
  • Pre-clinical mechanism of action studies on putative therapeutic agents that are close to clinical development in HD and PD

Selected publications

Emotional memory impairments in a genetic rat model of depression: involvement of 5-HT/MEK/Arc signaling in restoration.
Eriksson TM, Delagrange P, Spedding M, Popoli M, Mathé AA, Ögren SO, et al
Mol. Psychiatry 2012 Feb;17(2):173-84

Coupling surface plasmon resonance to mass spectrometry to discover novel protein-protein interactions.
Madeira A, Ohman E, Nilsson A, Sjögren B, Andrén PE, Svenningsson P
Nat Protoc 2009 ;4(7):1023-37

Evidence for a role of the 5-HT1B receptor and its adaptor protein, p11, in L-DOPA treatment of an animal model of Parkinsonism.
Zhang X, Andren PE, Greengard P, Svenningsson P
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2008 Feb;105(6):2163-8

Alterations in 5-HT1B receptor function by p11 in depression-like states.
Svenningsson P, Chergui K, Rachleff I, Flajolet M, Zhang X, El Yacoubi M, et al
Science 2006 Jan;311(5757):77-80

Diverse psychotomimetics act through a common signaling pathway.
Svenningsson P, Tzavara ET, Carruthers R, Rachleff I, Wattler S, Nehls M, et al
Science 2003 Nov;302(5649):1412-5

Group members