Navigation Links
Scientists shed light on what causes brain cell death in Parkinson's patients
Date:1/7/2011

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 7, 2011) Just 5 percent of Parkinson's disease cases can be explained by genetic mutation, while the rest have no known cause. But a new discovery by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio may begin to explain why the vast majority of Parkinson's patients develop the progressive neurodegenerative disease.

This week in the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers demystified a process that leads to the death of brain cells or neurons in Parkinson's patients. When researchers blocked the process, the neurons survived.

The findings could lead to an effective treatment to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, rather than simply address symptoms that include tremors, slowed movement, muscle stiffness and impaired balance. Further studies could lead to a diagnostic test that could screen for Parkinson's years before symptoms develop, said Syed Z. Imam, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor at the UT Health Science Center.

Parkinson's disease, which usually is not diagnosed until age 60 or later, affects an estimated half-million people in the United States.

Dr. Imam joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the research was conducted. Co-authors are from the Health Science Center's Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies; the South Texas Veterans Health Care System; and the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research in Tbingen, Germany.

The mechanism

After analyzing cells and post-mortem brain tissue from animals and humans, researchers noted that oxidative stress a known culprit in neuron death activated a protein called tyrosine kinase c-Abl in the nigra-striatum area of the brain. Neurons in this part of the brain are particularly vulnerable to Parkinson's injury.

Activation of this protein led to changes in another protein called parkin, which is known to be mutated in hereditary Parkinson's. The altered parkin lacked the capacity to break down other proteins, leading to harmful clumps of unprocessed protein in the neuron. The scientists believe this accumulation leads to progressive neuron death, resulting in Parkinson's symptoms that worsen over time.

Implications

"When we blocked tyrosine kinase c-Abl activation, parkin function was preserved and neurons were spared," Dr. Imam said. "We believe these studies provide sound rationale for moving forward with a preclinical trial of tyrosine kinase c-Abl inhibitors, with the goal of developing a potent therapeutic drug for slowing the progression of Parkinson's."

If preclinical trials in animal models of Parkinson's disease yield positive results, the next step would be clinical trials in human patients, Dr. Imam said.

Tyrosine kinase c-Abl inhibitors are approved by the FDA for treating myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal tumors. This could speed approval of the drug for Parkinson's and its translation from bench research to clinical practice.

"The race is on to understand the mechanism of the 95 percent of Parkinson's cases with no known cause, and our finding certainly is a building block," Dr. Imam said. "We have found a specific signaling mechanism that is only turned on by oxidative stress and is selective only to Parkinson's-affected neurons of the nigra-striatum, which is the area that sends signals for balance to the cerebellum."


'/>"/>

Contact: Will Sansom
sansom@uthscsa.edu
210-567-2579
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. VIB-K.U. Leuven scientists clear the way to alternative anti-angiogenic cancer therapy
2. Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards prestigious fellowships to 12 top young scientists
3. Scientists Aim for Test That Spots Single Cancer Cell in Blood Sample
4. Scientists Aim for Test That Could Spot Single Cancer Cell in Blood
5. Scientists Spot DNA Linked With Dangerous Heart Rhythms
6. Ion channel responsible for pain identified by UB neuroscientists
7. Scientists decode secrets of a very common virus that can cause cancer
8. Scientists Spot Genetic Areas Key to Embryonic Development
9. UNC scientists discover potential strategy to improve cancer vaccines
10. Scientists Raise Fat-Burning Levels in Mice
11. Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.35 million to study new obesity treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... It's ... there are a number of illnesses that are unclear as to whether or not ... their heads. Bronchitis is one of these illnesses. So, FindaTopDoc took a look into ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... affects much more than energy – it also has mental and physical benefits. According to ... time, which can increase the risk of having a car accident. , This week ... to help you sleep better and feel better:, , Turn off ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) is pleased to ... election process has been in place since the RBMA was founded in 1968 with ... succeeds Jim Hamilton, MHA, CMM, FRBMA, as president. Dr. Dickerson the chief executive officer ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... America (UCAOA) and College of Urgent Care Medicine will host industry leaders for ... and speakers will help those in the industry adapt to the issues currently ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh ... Creator responds to and which He does not. Yisrayl says with so many titles ... the true name, but he says with a little Scripture, backed with a lot of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... EAST HANOVER, N.J. , April 19, 2017 ... study conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and ... Health (NIH) demonstrating that 58% of patients with ... at six months when treated with eltrombopag at ... treatment 1 . The study evaluated three sequential ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017  Cardinal Health (NYSE: ... fiscal 2017 earnings per share (EPS) guidance and providing ... is in conjunction with this morning,s announcement of the ... and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses. Cardinal Health now ... will be at the bottom of its previous guidance ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Viverae ® , a leader in workplace ... IBM ® Watson Campaign Automation, implementing behavioral messaging ... a personalized experience. Through digital engagement, the platform prompts ... real time. The enhanced experience drives engagement by focusing ... they are in their journey to health. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: