New Discovery in Understanding Parkinson’s

3 Jan

Researchers are further discovering how Parkinson’s kills brain cells. Neurologists have known for decades that Lewy bodies – clumps of aggregated proteins inside cells -appear in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The presence of these Lewy bodies points to problems in protein recycling and waste disposal which raises the question: how does disrupting those processes kill brain cells? Researchers at Emory University have a possible answer: by breaking a survival circuit called MEF2D.

In a study published yesterday in Science, the Emory researchers  identified what could be an important pathway for controlling cell loss and survival in Parkinson’s disease.  What this means is that further research could identify drugs that could regulate MEF2D, allowing brain cells to survive toxic stresses that impair protein recycling.

Sources: Longevity Meme, Emory University

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