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Research groups

Nicholas Norwitz

DPhil


Neurometabolism and Parkinson's disease

Nicholas Norwitz completed his PhD, "Exogenous ketones as a metabolic intervention for Parkinson's disease," under the supervision of Professor Kieran Clarke. This project emphasized human clinical trials aimed at exploring the medical applications of the ketone bodies, D-β-hydroxybutyrate, in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Nick's early data demonstrate that exogenous ketone supplementation can improve some aspects of motor function in Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, Nick and Professor Clarke hypothesize that, by acting as both an efficient fuel substrate for the brain and as a signaling molecule, D-β-hydroxybutyrate may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Select first-author publications:

(1)     Norwitz NG, Hu MT, Clarke K. The mechanisms by which the ketone body D-beta-hydroxybutyrate may improve the multiple cellular pathologies of Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2019; 6(63). doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00063.

(2)     Norwitz NG, Mota AS, Norwitz SG, Clarke K. Multi-loop model of Alzheimer disease: an integrated perspective on the Wnt/GSK3beta, alpha-synuclein, and type 3 diabetes hypotheses. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience2019; 11(184). doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00184.

(3)     Norwitz NG, Jaramillo JG, Clarke K, Mota AS. Ketotherapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders. International Review of Neurobiology2020; 155: 141-168. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2020.02.003.

(4)     Norwitz NG, Loh V. A standard lipid panel is insufficient for a patient on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Frontiers in Medicine2020; 7(97). doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00097. 

(5)     Norwitz NG, Sethi S, Palmer C. Ketogenic diet as a metabolic treatment for mental illness. Current Opinion in Endocrinology and Diabetes. 2020; 27(5):269-274. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000564.

(6)     Norwitz NG, Querfurth H. mTOR mysteries: nuances and questions about the mechanistic target of rapamycin in neurodegenerative disease. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2020; 14:775. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00775.

(7)     Norwitz, NG, Dearlove DJ, Lu M, Clarke K, Dawes H, Hu MT. A ketone ester drink enhances endurance exercise performance in Parkinson’s disease. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2020; doi: 10.3389/fnins/2020/584130.