A recent study by members of this department could help unravel how and why people develop Parkinson’s, and aid in the search for potential treatments.
The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is Nanoscopic insights into seeding mechanisms and toxicity of α-synuclein species in neurons by Dorothea Pinotsi, Claire H. Michel, Alexander K. Buell,Romain F. Laine, Pierre Mahou, Christopher M. Dobson, Clemens F. Kaminski and Gabriele S. Kaminski Schierle.
The authors have monitored the fate of different forms of alpha-synuclein, the protein associated with Parkinson’s disease. The results suggest that the same protein can either cause, or protect against, the toxic effects that lead to the death of brain cells, depending on the specific form it takes, and that toxic effects occur upon an imbalance of the level of protein present in its natural form in the cell.
The work is covered in greater detail in a University news article, Researchers identify when Parkinson’s proteins become toxic to brain cells
and will be covered in the next issue of CEBFocus.