A revolutionary discovery will help develop a cure for Parkinson’s disease Neuron: Compensation for Parkin gene mutation may cure Parkinson’s disease 20:10

Parkinson’s disease is thought to begin with the loss of dopamine-secreting nerve cells (neurons). In a new study, US scientists found that this was preceded by a breakdown in the connections between neurons. According to the authors of an article published in the journal, treatment at this stage may be the most effective method. Neuron.

In Parkinson’s disease, which affects more than 10 million people worldwide, there is a loss of dopamine-secreting nerve cells. Its deficiency causes uncontrolled movements, stiffness, imbalance and tremors. The loss of dopamine neurons is believed to result from impaired functioning of old mitochondria in the brain, structures responsible for cellular energy production.

Previous studies have shown that mutations in the Parkin and PINK1 genes, which play an important role in mitochondrial recycling, significantly increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Every person has two copies of each gene: from the mother and the father. In the new study, biologists from Northwestern University in the US examined the nerve cells (neurons) of two sisters born without the PINK1 gene: Both parents had only one copy of the gene.

One of the sisters was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 16, and one of the sisters completely lacked the PINK1 and Parkin genes. The second sister was born without the PINK1 gene and with partial loss of the Parkin gene, but she was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 48. This surprised scientists, as partial loss of Parkin should not lead to Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists who wanted to find out why a sister who had partially lost the Parkin gene contracted this disease discovered the previously unknown function of this disease. It turns out that this section of DNA is not only important for the processing of mitochondria, but is also responsible for the release of dopamine through synapses, which are the points of contact between two neurons. This means that the complete absence of the Parkin gene caused the connections between dopamine-secreting nerve cells in the brain to deteriorate from birth, leading to an earlier onset of the disease in one of the sisters. In the second, the gene was partially present, allowing his neurons to last longer.

This discovery means that connections between dopamine-secreting neurons are disrupted long before neuron loss occurs; This means Parkinson’s disease begins to develop much earlier than previously thought. The authors believe that drugs that act on synapses before neuronal deterioration begins may help prevent Parkinson’s disease before symptoms begin.

Previous scientists to create It’s a way to speed up drug development by 10 times.

Source: Gazeta


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