Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Parkinson's disease may be driven in part by biochemical processes related to cell stress, according to researchers at the Scripps Research Institute. These processes disrupt the cell's cleansing system, causing the abnormal proteins to spread throughout the brain, which in turn exacerbates the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. A description of the discovery can be found in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Parkinson's disease mainly affects people over 60 years of age, although younger people also suffer from it. In Poland, about 70,000 are ill. people, in the USA the number of sick people reaches a million.

It causes the death of neurons in a specific sequence in key areas of the brain, resulting in characteristic symptoms such as movement disorders and hand tremors. The progression of the disease leads to further symptoms, including dementia. Damaged neurons contain abnormal protein clusters, the main component of which is the protein alpha-synuclein.

Previous research has shown that clusters of this protein can spread between neurons, but it was not known how this process takes place, so there is no effective causal treatment. A very likely hypothesis has recently been put forward by scientists from Scripps Research - in their opinion, this discovery may lead to a treatment that will significantly slow down or even stop the development of Parkinson's disease.

As Dr. Stuart Lipton, senior author of the study, quoted by Medicalxpress, "We believe our findings about the process leading to disease are important in developing compounds that may inhibit the spread of disease in the brain in particular."

In earlier studies, scientists noticed that in the course of Parkinson's disease, the brains of patients produce highly reactive molecules containing, among others, nitric oxide. These molecules, the researchers argue, can interfere with the work of cells, including those that normally keep protein clusters under control.

In a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, scientists demonstrated the validity of this hypothesis by showing how a chemical reaction called S-nitrosylation that occurs in the presence of nitric oxide couldaffect an important cellular protein marked with the symbol p62, which in turn promotes the formation and spread of abnormal protein clusters.

The p62 protein is involved in the processes of autophagy, during which cells shed potentially harmful protein clusters. However, in neurons affected by Parkinson's disease, this process is inhibited by S-nitrolysis, leading to the secretion and spread of abnormal proteins.

Researchers say protein S-nitrosylation occurs under cellular stress, and that chemical modification of p62 may be "a key factor in a self-reinforcing process that not only stresses brain cells but also spreads the source of stress to other cells. cerebral ". Inhibiting the p62 S-nitrolization process could slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease, so the research team is currently focusing on researching compounds that can stop this process.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!