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Parkinson's disease mechanism discovered

reatments for Parkinson's disease do not aim at protecting the dopamine-producing neurons themselves. Rather, the treatments seek to restore dopamine levels in the brain or to treat symptoms of the disease.

Lindquist cautioned that the findings "have not by any means proven that this mechanism of pathology or the compounds that affect it are relevant to humans. However, given the fact that we've found the same results in yeast, flies, worms and rat neurons, I would be very surprised if we didn't find that they were relevant in humans," she said.

Bonini added that the research team's findings illustrate the power of animal models in revealing insight into Parkinson's disease. "These results highlight the value and importance of very simple model organisms in studying these disorders," she said. "For example, yeast is only a single cell, not even a neuron, and yet it can reveal proteins that modify the toxicity of alpha-synuclein. And in flies, it is possible to study the effects of these proteins on alpha-synuclein toxicity in dopaminergic neurons. Clearly, these kinds of basic research collaborations, in which you can progress up the evolutionary tree using multiple model organisms, will open the door to new therapeutic opportunities for Parkinson's," said Bonini.


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Source:Howard Hughes Medical Institute


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