a-novel-tool-to-help-gain-deeper-insight-into-parkinsons-disease

Source: TBR news media

 

Context: Many researchers from across the world are studying the mechanism of how the protein forms the aggregates, and how the aggregation results in the death of neuronal cells observed in Parkinson’s disease. 

Background:

  • Scientists believe that once mysteries regarding protein forms are uncovered, it could help develop a drug for the disease, which is badly needed for understanding Parkinson's disease.
  • However the aggregation of a protein called alpha synuclein (ASyn) is not something that is easy to understand. The end point of the aggregation is the formation of small slender fibres or `fibrils’, in which the protein has a structure type, what is called a cross beta fold.
    • Fibrils are structural biological materials found in nearly all living organisms
  • Scientists have solved the three-dimensional structures of the fibrils and have also learnt how to develop drugs to target them. However, these drugs do not work in the clinical trials.
  • The structure of these intermediates could not be solved yet and hence it is difficult to target them using a drug delivery technique. 
  • Also, scientists have not been able to come up with a way by which a single technique could monitor both the early intermediate species and the fibrils, which form at the end.

More about the recent study

  • Recently, scientists from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology,Kolkata, teamed up to find a solution.They made three particularly interesting observations: 
    • First, the strength of nonlinearity is relatively stronger in the case of fibrils when compared to other conformations of the protein.
    • Second, each of the different conformers populated in the different stages of the aggregation landscape seems to have a specific nonlinear property that could be targeted.  
    • The third and the most important result was a switch in the sign of nonlinearity when the late oligomers form at around 24 hours.

Parkinson's diseases

About:

  • Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. 
  • Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

Causes:  

  • In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. 
  • Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. 
  • When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
 

Source: PCORI

Treatment:Although Parkinson's disease can't be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms.


source:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1623817