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Discovery 'may help explain Parkinson's'

Discovery 'may help explain Parkinson's'
12th January 2009

Scientists have discovered a mechanism which may help explain Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders.

The team, from the Mayo Clinic, have found a genetic defect which results as profound depression and parkinsonism in Perry syndrome.

According to their results, the mechanism may help explain the origins of Parkinson's as it shows that breakdowns in cell transportation in the brain could be a common mechanism in neurodegeneration.

"These findings suggest that trafficking of specific cargoes inside brain cells may be a general problem in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, depression and other disorders," explains Matthew J Farrer, professor of neuroscience at the medical facility.

International researchers from the UK, Canada, France, Japan and Turkey were involved in the study.

Another recent study from the Mayo Clinic has shown that a faulty gene on the X chromosome could be one of the main factors in the development of Alzheimer's in women.

Of the 844 people with Alzheimer's and 1,255 without the condition, 79 per cent of unaffected women had the gene.

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