Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UK research could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s

31.01.2005


A team at the University of Sheffield has received a share of $3.6m from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research potential causes and treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.



Dr. Oliver Bandmann, of the University’s Department of Academic Neurology, and Professor Philip Ingham FRS, of the Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics at the University of Sheffield, are the only team in England to receive an awarded from the Foundation. They have been given £105,000 to investigate the role of specific genes and toxins in the development of Parkinson’s Disease, which could eventually lead to new treatments and possibly a cure for this debilitating condition.

Professor Ingham explains, “Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die or become impaired. These cells produce dopamine, and a lack of dopamine is a characteristic of the condition. Dopamine is responsible for allowing smooth, coordinated function of the body’s muscle and movement, and Parkinson’s sufferers will usually suffer tremors, stiffness, difficulty with balance and slowness of movement.“


Dr. Bandmann explains, “ We will be using the tropical zebrafish in our research, as they are genetically very similar to humans. We know that some people with Parkinson’s have a defect in a gene called DJ1, and will be using the fish to assess the significance of the gene. We can easily inactivate DJ1 in zebrafish and observe the effect this has on brain cells and, crucially, we can also focus on how other factors combine with the gene malfunction to increase the chances of developing Parkinson’s

“Previous studies have shown that some toxins, when given in high enough doses, cause Parkinson’s symptoms. In reality people are usually not exposed to this level of toxin, but we will be looking at how smaller quantities of the toxins affect the brain when DJ1 is not working properly. It could be that mutation of DJ1 can not only cause Parkinson’ by itself, but can also increase people’s the susceptibility to the condition when they are exposed to small amounts of the toxins.

“Once we understand how the different factors causing Parkinson’s work together, we can get closer to curing the condition at its source, rather than just treating the symptoms. As a clinician, I see and treat many patients with Parkinson’s, and to be given a grant that allows me to develop new ways of treating the condition is extremely exciting.”

Professor Ingham adds, “This project is a good example of how we can use the zebrafish as a model system to uncover the genetic and cellular defects that lie at the heart of many debilitating human diseases. The interdisciplinary team in the Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics is using similar approaches to examine root causes and early interventions for a number of conditions including muscular dystrophy and various neurodegenerative disorders.

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shef.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Disrupted fat breakdown in the brain makes mice dumb
19.05.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior

23.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

Study identifies RNA molecule that shields breast cancer stem cells from immune system

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>