News ArchivesRead News

Scientists close in on genes responsible for Parkinson’s disease

Tuesday December 27, 2005

27 Dec 2005(Health Channel) - Scientists have identified 570 genes that act abnormally during the development of Parkinson’s disease, a finding which could help doctors predict the likelihood of it developing.

The research published in Neurogenetics, by the team from Imperial College London (ICL) and the University of Liege, Belgium, uses microarrays to analyse brains from Parkinson’s patients.

Microarrays are laboratory chips able to pick out which genes are active when different processes are occurring in the brain.

When they analysed brains from people with Parkinson’s, they found that out of all 25,000 human genes, regulation of 570 was highly abnormal in Parkinson’s brains compared with non-diseased brains.

The researchers analysed 23 brains from recently deceased patients, 15 affected by Parkinson’s and 8 control brains.

"This research shows there are a considerable number of genes associated with the development of Parkinson’s, potentially providing new clues for how to treat this disease," said Dr Linda Moran from Imperial College London and one of the authors of the paper.

"Now that we can identify these genes it may be possible to develop new therapies to help the increasing numbers of Parkinson’s patients."

The team, led by Professor Manuel Graeber, analysed two parts of the brain which are affected by neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s - the substantia nigra in the mid-brain, and the cerebral cortex.

They were able to eliminate around 15,000 genes from any role in Parkinson’s, as they were not found to be active in the substantia nigra, the part of the brain most affected by Parkinson’s.

The study was funded by the UK Parkinson’s Disease Society.

Recent News

Nov 22 - A caregiver's story: Living and loving through the slow process of dying
Nov 19 - Testosterone cause of sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests
Nov 18 - New strategy reduces side effects in Parkinson's treatment
Nov 14 - Opinion: The never-ending tests of Parkinson's disease
Nov 13 - Parkinson’s disease: A new tool for diagnosis
Nov 10 - Parkinson's Disease Drug May Be Useful For Delaying, Preventing Blindness In Older Population
Nov 9 - Microsoft VP’s diagnosis fuels employees’ heartfelt efforts to help others
Nov 6 - Lewy body dementia: unrecognized and misdiagnosed
Nov 5 - Gait difficulties in Parkinson's linked to new blood vessels in brain
Oct 30 - Special Section: Enabling Technologies for Parkinson’s Disease Management
Oct 27 - Scientists discover a 'switchboard' of molecules that protect against Parkinson's disease
Oct 26 - Dancing improves mobility and quality of life in people with Parkinson's
Oct 23 - The amazing woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease — before symptoms appear
Oct 20 - Personal Essay: The deviousness of dementia
Oct 19 - Mechanism that 'melts' protein clumps may lead to new Parkinson's treatments
Oct 19 - Researchers find that stem cell treatment may reduce cognitive impairment related to dementia with Lewy bodies
Oct 17 - Cancer Drug Helps Parkinson's Patients
Oct 12 - Researchers identify immune gene that can prevent Parkinson's disease and dementia
Oct 12 - Blog Post: An Alert, Well-Hydrated Artist in No Acute Distress
Oct 7 - This month, a brain surgery will be broadcast on live TV for the first time ever