Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New findings shed light to the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease


The findings of Finnish scientists with their multinational collaborators shed light to the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease and early menopause.

Parkinson’s disease affects about 2% of the general population. It is caused by death of such nerve cells that utilize dopamine in their function, located in the brain nucleus called substantia nigra, black matter. The degeneration of these cells leads to for example slow movements, and rigidity. The disease is multifactorial, meaning that it can be the end result of genetic factors, environmental factors, or both.

The Finnish research group FinMIT led by Docent Anu Suomalainen-Wartiovaara studies the energy metabolism of the cell, which happens in the cellular powerplants, the mitochondria. These organelles contain their own DNA, the mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is replicated and repaired by a specific protein, polymerase gamma. If this protein is defective, mitochondrial DNA accumulates mutations, which disturbs the energy production and mitochondrial function.

The scientists noted that those patients, who had a polymerase gamma gene defect, also had parkinsonism, as well as muscle and periferal nerve degeneration. In addition, female patients had an early menopause, often before the age of 35 years.

Previously, mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested to participate in mechanisms leading to Parkinson’s disease. However, the findings of the Finnish researchers are the first indication that parkinsonism can be caused by a defect in a protein of mtDNA quality control. This finding will direct the research of Parkinson’s disease to mitochondrial function and energy metabolism. In addition, studies solving the mechanism of early menopause in these patients will give new insights to the basic ovarial function.

Paivi Lehtinen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>