A new study has found that the spread of Parkinson’s disease in the brain is driven by a protein that helps neurons to communicate with each other.
The study, published in the journal Nature, could lead to the development of new treatments for the neurodegenerative disorder.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the loss of motor control and is caused by the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain.
The new study found that the protein alpha-synuclein, which is found in high levels in the brains of Parkinson’s patients, plays a key role in the spread of the disease.
Researchers found that when alpha-synuclein is produced in large amounts, it interferes with the normal function of dopamine neurons and causes them to die.
What’s more, the new study showed that alpha-synuclein can spread from neuron to neuron, causing the death of dopamine neurons in other parts of the brain.
This spread is thought to be behind the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
This discovery could lead to the development of new treatments that target alpha-synuclein and prevent it from spreading throughout the brain.
A new study has uncovered how Parkinson’s disease progresses in the brain, providing fresh insight into the causes of the condition.
The research, conducted in mice, found that the disease spreads from neuron to neuron through a process known as ‘pruning’.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system, causing problems with movement and balance.
There is currently no cure for the condition, which affects around one million people in the US alone.
The new study, published in the journal Neuron, provides fresh insight into how the disease progresses.
Using a technique called ‘optogenetics’, the researchers were able to selectively activate or silence individual neurons in the brain.
This allowed them to track how Parkinson’s disease spreads through the brain circuitry.
They found that the disease begins in a region known as the substantia nigra, which is involved in motor control.
From here, it spreads to other regions of the brain via a process known as ‘pruning’.
Pruning is a normal process that occurs during development, when unused neurons are removed.
However, in Parkinson’s disease, this process goes into overdrive, leading to the loss of vital neurons.
The researchers say their findings could lead to the development of new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
Currently, there is no cure for the condition, and treatments are focused on relieving symptoms.
The new study provides fresh insight into how Parkinson’s disease progresses in the brain, and could help to develop new treatments for the condition.