Saturday, October 24, 2015

Genes and Parkinson's Disease

Researchers from King's College London have been able to identify a gene linked to nerve function which they believe could provide a treatment target for 'switching off' the gene responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.  Their study was conducted using the larval stages of Drosophila.  The nerve cells were genetically engineered to create a green flourescent protein, which allowed these researchers identify nerves with damaged mitochondria.  "A gene called HIFalpha was found to regulate the nerve signals from damaged mitochondria and, when this gene was 'switched off' by the research team, nerve function in flies with Parkinson's disease was restored.  By deactivating the HIFalpha gene, the early failure of nerve cells caused by mitochondrial damage was prevented." (King's College London)  With these findings, researchers now have a greater understanding of how nerve cells work.

I really enjoyed this article and found it to be very promising for patients suffering with these 'incurable' diseases. With this new research I hope that scientists are able to create a drug that will give positive results and relief to patients.  Maybe with this research a cure for these diseases, including Parkinson's, will arise!

Check out the article here. To read more on Parkinson's disease click here.

1 comment:

  1. That's really amazing how they could figure out a way to deactivate the genes for Parkinson's Disease. I wonder if using antibodies to detect these proteins had anything to do with this this study. It's interesting that green fluorescent protein was used and I think it might have been used to actually see the cells better.