NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

Faulty enzyme sparks Parkinson’s disease

Thursday June 23, 2005

June 22, 2005(ScienceDaily) - Parkinson’s disease is caused by a faulty enzyme that causes brain proteins to clump -- much like Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease, Texas researchers say.

Parkinson’s is "a disease involving accumulation of a protein in an aberrant form," said Philip Thomas, lead researcher at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center.

Normally, the protein involved in Parkinson’s, alpha-synuclein, unfolds when it is stressed and is chewed into harmless bits by an enzyme.

However, that enzyme malfunctions in Parkinson’s patients and creates protein fragments that clump, and those protein clusters cause more clumps in "vicious cycle" of the degenerative disease, scientists said.

Thomas, reporting in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, said future research may involve ways to inhibit the malicious form of the enzyme while leaving the normal form alone since the enzyme is essential for cells to survive.

Recent News

Jul 14 - Cancer drug shows early promise for Parkinson's disease
Jul 13 - Opinion: Dividing the Caregiving Responsibilities Between Siblings
Jul 12 - Researchers make advance in possible treatments for Gaucher, Parkinson’s diseases
Jul 11 - Parkinson’s Head Trauma Link Looks Even Stronger
Jul 7 - Penn students’ start-up XEED puts wearables to work against Parkinson’s disease
Jul 5 - Last Patient Enrolled in Pivotal Phase 3 Parkinson’s Disease Trial, Cynapsus Therapeutics Says
Jun 29 - Exoskeleton Could Quell the Tremors of Parkinson's Disease Patients at Crucial Moments
Jun 28 - Parkinson's disease: New protein discovery could fuel new treatments
Jun 27 - Study finds direct evidence linking Parkinson’s to autoimmune disease; 2 genes that are key regulators of immune system discovered
Jun 27 - Blocking key enzyme halts parkinson's disease symptoms in mice
Jun 23 - Parkinson's Research Might Benefit from Novel Discovery of Zinc Transport Protein Structure
Jun 23 - Parkinson's disease breakthrough 'could lead to cure'
Jun 20 - More American men diagnosed with Parkinson's
Jun 15 - First monkey genetically engineered to have Parkinson’s created
Jun 14 - Fighting Parkinson's in the lab
Jun 9 - A New Gene Has Been Linked to Parkinson's Disease
Jun 6 - A neurologist weighs in on Muhammad Ali's battle with Parkinson's disease
Jun 5 - Michael J. Fox: How to honor Muhammad Ali
Jun 3 - Singing improves speech of people with Parkinson's, but more research needed
Jun 1 - San Diego Parkinson’s Research Sparks Ethical Discussion