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Identified function of “mystery protein” that kills brain cells in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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image: A 3D illustration showing neurons containing small red spheres of Levy body dementia. It is a protein deposit that accumulates in brain cells that causes progressive degeneration.
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Studies published in Nature Communications Today (Wednesday, February 10), we present compelling new evidence of what an important protein called α-synuclein actually does in neurons in the brain.

Dr. Juliana Fusco, Research Fellow and Lead Author of the Treatise at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, said: “This study may reveal more information about this debilitating neurodegenerative disease that can make people unable to walk or talk. To cure Parkinson, first of all, all We need to understand the function of α-synuclein, a protein found in the human brain. This study is an important step towards that goal. “

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neuropathy that weakens or kills nerve cells in the brain. The disease has a variety of symptoms, especially hand tremors, gait and balance problems, slow arms and legs, and extreme stiffness. Parkinson’s disease occurs when cells in the brain do not function properly and cannot produce enough dopamine, a chemical that controls movement in the body by acting as a messenger between cells.

The disease mainly affects people over the age of 60 and worsens in a few years, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease can also occur in younger people.

More than 10 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease, including actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed as 29, singer Neil Diamond, comedian Billy Connolly, and musician Ozzy Osbourne. Parkinson’s disease can affect women, but men are more likely to get the disease.

It is not yet known why people get Parkinson’s disease, but researchers say it is a combination of age, genetic and environmental factors that kill dopaminergic neurons and affect body movements. I think it is.

A new study looks at what’s happening in good health to help identify what’s wrong with cells in people with Parkinson’s disease. Every cell in the body has a plasma membrane that protects the cell, normally transports nutrients, and removes toxic substances.

Dr. Fusco explains: “One of the most important questions in Parkinson’s disease research is what is the function of α-synuclein, a protein that forms aggregates that affect motor and cognitive performance under pathological conditions? After discovering the protein for its function, in the case of α-synuclein, the protein was identified for its pathological association, but we did not know what happened in the neurons. Our study According to the α-synuclein protein, it adheres like an adhesive. It is the inner surface of the protozoal membrane of nerve cells, but not the outer surface-important new information. “

Scientists used synthetic models during their studies to mimic brain cell membranes.

Professor Alfonso des Simone of Imperial College London and one of the authors of the treatise said: “When this protein is functioning normally, it plays an important role in the mechanism by which neurons exchange signals in the brain, but it has a dark side. In our study, this protein plays a key role in the brain. Since it was found to be attached to the inner surface of the plasma membrane of the cell, we are slowly constructing an image of this highly complex disorder. We are studying the important function of α-synuclein. “

There are treatments and drugs available to patients with Parkinson’s disease, and while the disease is not fatal, nothing is available to undo the effects of the disease. Symptoms can also be alleviated by introducing lifestyle changes such as increased rest and exercise.

Professor Desimone added: “There are thousands of proteins in our body, and until further research confirms the function of this mysterious protein, in case drug therapy accidentally affects an important purpose, of Parkinson’s disease. The development of drug therapies to address the origin cannot be initiated. Of the α-sinucrane protein. ”

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