Navigation Links
Study provides first link between 2 major Parkinson's genes
Date:4/4/2011

As Parkinson's Awareness Month gets underway, a Canadian-led international study is providing important new insight into Parkinson's disease and paving the way for new avenues for clinical trials. The study, led by Dr. Michael Schlossmacher in Ottawa, provides the first link between the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson's and the hallmark accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein within the brains of people with Parkinson's. It is published in the most recent edition of the journal Annals of Neurology.

"This study addresses a major riddle in Parkinson's disease," explains Dr. Schlossmacher, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Parkinson's disease at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa, and is also an active neurologist at The Ottawa Hospital. "Thanks to pioneering research done by geneticists in the United States and Israel, we've known for six years now that 10-12 per cent of people with Parkinson's have a mutation in one copy of a gene called glucocerebrosidase, or GBA. However, until now we have not understood how these mutations contribute to the disease and how they fit with other pieces of the puzzle, such as the accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the brain."

Alpha-synuclein has been likened to the "bad cholesterol" of Parkinson's because it gradually accumulates in the brain as Parkinson's progresses. Affected brain cells show signs of injury, and when they die, this leads to the tremors, stiffness and slowness that are typically associated with Parkinson's disease.

Using a series of experimental laboratory models, Dr. Schlossmacher and his colleagues have now shown that the GBA mutations found in Parkinson's patients prevent brain cells from efficiently breaking down and removing alpha-synuclein.

"While the GBA mutations don't cause Parkinson's disease on their own, they do significantly increase the risk of developing the disease, probably by making people susceptible to the accumulation of alpha-synuclein," says Dr. Schlossmacher. "This could explain why people with GBA mutations frequently develop Parkinson's symptoms four to five years earlier than those without them."

"These findings are particularly exciting because if they are confirmed by other researchers, they could significantly accelerate the development of new treatments for Parkinson's," he adds. "Several companies have developed or are actively working on drugs that target GBA for another disease called Gaucher disease, and our research suggests that these drugs could potentially be useful in Parkinson's, and in a related disease called Lewy body dementia."

In addition to researchers in Ottawa, this study also involved researchers from Brigham & Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School (where the Schlossmacher team first began to explore the link), Genzyme Corporation, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre, Christian-Albrechts University and Purdue University. It was funded by the Canada Research Chairs Program, The Ottawa Hospital Department of Medicine, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (USA), and Genzyme Corporation.

This study represents just one in a series of important discoveries recently made by members of Ottawa's Parkinson Research Consortium (PRC). The group, which was founded in 2004 by Dr. David Park and Dr. David Grimes, includes 14 basic and clinical scientists from the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the National Research Council. Other recent PRC studies have focused on developing diagnostic tests for Parkinson's disease in biological fluids, identifying new genetic mutations associated with Parkinson's and delineating how the disease can be better modeled in the laboratory. PRC is supported by many generous donors in the community and organization such as Partners Investing in Parkinson's Research (PIPR), The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Parkinson Society Ottawa, one of 10 regional Parkinson Society Canada partners. See www.ohri.ca/prc for details.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Paterson
jpaterson@ohri.ca
613-798-5555 x73325
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Drs. Nicholas Rallis ... have now spent 10 years as clinical instructors for the reputable Full Mouth ... Dentistry. Through the program, private practitioners receive cutting-edge clinical training and learn how ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... completed Course II of the HP3 (High-Performance Periodontal Practice) continuing education (CE) series. ... the latest advancements in his field by attending numerous CE courses each year. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Park, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 ... ... announced the practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on ... context of the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of the ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... fluoride (PVDF) based sleep diagnostics sensors, announced today it had completed the first ... of a mix of domestic and rest of world (ROW) authorized dealers specializing ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... Carolina have remained steady since 2009, according to a Workers Compensation Research Institute ... study Monitoring the North Carolina System: CompScope™ Benchmarks, 17th Edition looks ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... PLEASANTON, Calif. , May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... world,s most innovative medical devices for pressure ulcer ... at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, ... Houston May 22-25. The Leaf Patient ... designed specifically for the hospital environment.  The system ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Two Bayer U.S. Pharmaceutical leaders received ... its recent 28 th Woman of the ... showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of furthering the advancement and ... Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior director of brand ... and Libby Howe , a regional business manager ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... Enterin Inc., a privately-held CNS pharmaceutical company based in ... Parkinson,s disease (PD), has enrolled the first patient in the ... multicenter study involving patients with PD and taking place at ... 9-to-12-month period. The first stage is open label and involves ... include Denver , Boca Raton ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: