Submitter and Co-author information

Annie S. Kanwar, University of WindsorFollow

Type of Proposal

Visual Presentation (Poster, Installation, Demonstration)

Streaming Media


Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Siyaram Pandey

Start Date

24-3-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

24-3-2015 1:50 PM

Importance of the Project

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting 7-10 million individuals worldwide. Furthermore, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation specifies that approximately one million Americans suffer from the disorder, with 60,000 diagnoses annually. Although the incidence of PD increases with age, approximately 4% of patients are diagnosed before the age of 50 and men are one and a half times more likely to have the disease than women.[1] No treatments have been effective in the complete cessation or reversion of PD progression, and thus no cure exists. The prevalence of the disease and the lack of better treatment options, indicates it is imperative that research be done to realize a therapy that halts neurodegeneration, and consequently, Parkinson’s disease.


1) Statistics on Parkinson’s. (2015, January 1). Retrieved February 6, 2015, from

Existing State of Knowledge

PD is associated with the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the midbrain, which projects to the basal ganglia. Depreciation of these projections, can lead to deficits in voluntary and automatic motor control as well as procedural learning. This explicates many common symptoms of PD such as tremors, bradykinesia (slowness), impaired balance, muscle rigidity, and speech and writing changes.[1]

Since the pathophysiology of the disease is not very well understood and numerous causes are implicated in neurological disorders, a holistic view may serve as the best approach to combat the disease. The ancient practice of using Chinese herbal medicine is proposed, as it combines several therapeutic ingredients that act synergistically and target multiple pathways. A 2013 study examined the therapeutic effects of an herbal formulation known as Ji-Su-Kang (JSK) in an acute spinal cord injury rat model.[2] The study’s positive results along with anecdotal evidence of JSK’s efficacy for PD patients, have led to the herbal formulation being suggested as a treatment in a pre-established paraquat rat model for Parkinson’s.


1) Symptoms. (2015, January 1). Retrieved February 6, 2015, from

2) Su, C., Zhang, D., Truong, J., Jiang, C., Lee, S., Jarouche, M., ... & Jiang, S. (2013). Effects of a novel herbal formulation JSK on acute spinal cord injury in rats. Restorative neurology and neuroscience, 31(5), 597-617.

Research Question

This research aims to evaluate the neuroprotective mechanisms of JSK, by assessing microglial activation in a paraquat rat model of Parkinson’s disease.


The prophylactic experimental study entails the administration of JSK using jello as a vehicle. Three groups are used in the experiment. The first group receives jello preceding, during and following a period of five saline injections (every five days). The second group receives jello and paraquat injections, and the final group is given jello supplemented with JSK as well as paraquat injections. Four weeks following the injection period, the rats will be sacrificed and the brain sections subjected to immunohistochemistry using anti-GDNF and anti-BDNF antibodies, to assess differences in the levels of GDNF and BDNF. Activated microglial cells are known to cause the release of these two neurotrophic factors in response to inflammation, a common symptom of neurodegenerative disease. Overall, the goal of this project is to realize the mechanisms by which JSK acts as a neuroprotectant.

Your Findings

As the injection period of the experiment is currently taking place, results have not been obtained yet.


Mar 24th, 1:00 PM Mar 24th, 1:50 PM

Evaluation of Microglial Action in a JSK Treated Paraquat Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease