Parkinson’s Disease

An understanding of the molecular pathology of Parkinson’s disease.

This paper covers the current understanding regarding the molecular events that culminate to cause dopamenergic neuronal cell death in Parkinsons. It draws on a number of excellent reviews and focuses particularly on the role of alpha-synuclein and the lewy body, while exploring the ubiquitination pathway that is also implicated. It also explains much of the underlying science behind many treatments previously and currently used.
`Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of the dopamine neurons in the pars compacta. This leads to over activation of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia and development of the Parkinsonian symptoms. The molecular pathology responsible for the dopamenergic neuron degradation is a highly investigated and controversial area. Immunohistochemical studies have revealed the presence of intracellular inclusions in these neurons called Lewy bodies. These lewy bodies have a high level of alpha synuclein, which is also found on the presynaptic terminals in neurons and has unknown function in humans. Studies in songbirds have hinted at a role in synaptic plasticity.`