You are here

Protein cell link discovered for Parkinson's disease

Protein cell link discovered for Parkinson's disease
2nd January 2009

Clumps of protein cells have been linked in a new way to the development of Parkinson's disease in patients, according to a new study.

Although the build-up of Lewy bodies - aggregated proteins in the brains of sufferers - have been connected with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's for several decades, researchers at Emory School of Medicine in the US have found they have effects on a survival circuit.

It is believed that this process, known as MEF2D, is being interrupted by the build-up and thus provides scientists with a breakthrough which could be exploited for a cure.

Senior author Zixu Mao said: "We've identified what could be an important pathway for controlling cell loss and survival in Parkinson's disease."

At the end of December, a French study for the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that rogue immune cells may also contribute to the problems of Parkinson's disease, with scientists confident that the information could ultimately lead to a cure.

Please click here for advice to help you find the right type of care.