Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is associated with loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra compacta (SNpc) leading to a reduction of dopamine in the nigrostriatal pathway. The motor symptoms are characterized by tremor and bradykinesia while the non-motor symptoms include cognitive deficiencies, sleeping and sensorial disturbances and breathing instability. Studies from our laboratory demonstrated an intense reduction of respiratory frequency from day 40 after the PD-model induction and a reduction in the number of neurons in important nuclei involved in neural control of breathing in a model of PD induced by bilateral injection of 6-hydroxidopamine (6-OHDA) into the striatum (CPu), Studies show that polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids: PUFAs) produce beneficial effects to a wide range of disorders that affect the central nervous system. The fatty acids of the n-3 family as eicosapentaenoic (EPA), but mainly docosahexaenoic (DHA) are found in high concentrations in the encephalic membranes playing a protective role, as anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic and antioxidative, as well as the PUFAs supplementation by fish oil attenuated the loss of dopaminergic neurons of SNpc and dopaminergic terminals in the striatum. Because of that, it is important to investigate if the respiratory changes observed in this model of PD can be restored by treatment with omega-3. So, the aim of this study is to investigate whether omega-3 treatment can reverse or reduce the functional and neuroanatomical respiratory deficiencies observed in the 6-OHDA-induced PD model.
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