Spanish researchers identify one of the causes of Parkinson’s in rats

O Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that damages the nervous system chronically and progressively. It is currently the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s and affects between 7 and 10 million people from all over the world.

This pathology is characterized by the loss or deterioration of the dopaminergic neurons, those who produce dopamine –a substance that conveys the information necessary to carry out normal movements.

To date, the causes are unclear. Traditionally, they have been linked to defects in a molecular complex called mitochondrial complex I (MIC) in dopaminergic neurons, necessary for the survival of dopamine-producing neurons and whose absence or dysfunction produces its destruction.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s and affects between 7 and 10 million people worldwide.

Now the Spanish-led investigation Patricia González-Rodriguez during your stay in Northwestern University (USA) provides new data on this disease.

The results of the study, published in the journal Nature, were obtained from an animal model with genetically modified mice. These animals do not have the key gene for CMI formation – the gene Ndufs2–, which generates a parkinsonism progressive (abnormal movements).

dopamine loss

For more than 30 years, the prevailing opinion among scientists studying the disease was that Parkinson’s disease was caused by depletion of dopamine in the disease. axons – Thin and elongated structures that transmit the nerve impulse. This absence causes impaired movement control, leading to typical motor symptoms such as tremor at rest or stiffness.

However, this research describes that why the motor symptoms This disease requires a lack of dopamine in the region (known as black substance) Where are the sums –The cell body– of neurons. Both affectations, on both the axon and the soma, are necessary.

Thanks to the results obtained in this work, a clinical study will be carried out, in colaboration with Michael Kaapplit, neurosurgeon in Weill Cornell Medical College (USA) and co-author of the article.

it is gene therapy The goal is to treat that small area of ​​the brain called the substantia nigra, where the soma of neurons is located.

Future therapeutic treatments

Furthermore, the researchers found that neurons affected by the disease do not die, but lose some of their properties and change their properties. metabolism. This opens the door to the design of future therapeutic treatments that allow these neurons to recover correctly.

“The ultimate goal is to better understand the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and contribute this knowledge to the development of new therapies that will improve the quality of life and expectancy of patients”, concludes the lead author.

Rights: Creative Commons.

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