Parkinson’s disease is a brain disease that “arises from the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain” which in turn affects behavior, sleep, thinking, and memory. Parkinson’s disease makes simple everyday tasks such as talking and walking more difficult as time progresses and other symptoms that also arise from this disease includes fatigue and depression. Each year in the United States alone, about 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and by 2020, almost 1 million people will be considered diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Recently, a study had been done where a “protective cell mechanism can be disrupted in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease to protect cells against damage caused by faulty mitochondria.” The research found that “when an enzyme, PINK1 detect defective mitochondria in cells, it switches on another enzyme called, Parkin. This results in the disposal of faulty mitochondria and protects the cells.” After doing a test on mice, researchers confirmed that the PINK1-Parkin switch operates in the brain and that people with Parkinson’s disease have faulty PINK1-Parkin switches.
The research and results that these scientist have gathered is a huge step in the medical field because now scientist can work hard in to find a possible type of medicine or cure in order to address the faulty “PINK1-Parkin” switch in those with Parkinson’s disease.