Perhaps appropriately timed for the A Walk in the Park event that is being held around Australia on August 28, but a group of Queensland researchers have made a breakthrough that could treat the tremors and muscle stiffness that Parkinson’s disease causes.
Read more: My life with Parkinson’s is not always a Walk in the Park
The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience has found, by examining a genetic mutation, that dysfunctions in retromer — a type of protein responsible for transporting biological material within a cell — creates congestion in the transport network inside the cells. Kind of like a cell traffic jam.
What happens then is the ability of recycling cells is interrupted and they don’t get to the right place, which means cells in the brain can’t get rid of waste material and this leads to cell death.
It all sounds very complicated, but what do you expect when dealing with the brain?
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“It’s this cell’s death that then causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors and muscle stiffness,” associate professor Rohan Teasdale told news.com.au.
He says this discovery could lead to improved treatments that address the symptoms of Parkinson’s, but additionally the treatment principle could also be applied to almost 50 other disorders that occur when there is a build-up of waste material in the cells.
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