Find out more about the study on ‘powerhouse malfunction as the major cause of Parkinson’s disease’.
Research offers new insights on a cause of Parkinson’s disease
Author: Saskia MairPublished: 22 July 2021
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Researchers in Denmark have shared insights on a cause of up to 95% of Parkinson’s disease cases.
Using data on gene patterns and three mouse models, scientists at the University of Copenhagen found that a blockage to a pathway regulating mitochondria (‘powerhouses’ that generate energy for reactions in cells) causes a form of the condition known as ‘sporadic Parkinson’s disease’. When the pathway becomes blocked by a protein, damaged mitochondria accumulate, unable to produce enough energy – which in turn causes nerve cells to die.
“Just like when people eat, cells take what they need and get rid of … waste products,” explained corresponding study author Professor Shohreh Issazadeh-Navikas. “But if our brain cells have this specific kind of signalling blockage, it means that the powerhouse of the cell – mitochondria – cannot get cleaned up after being damaged.”
The team now plan to investigate the pathway’s role in neuronal survival and cell death.
For more information on the latest Parkinson’s disease research, please visit Parkinson’s Europe website.
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