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 New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>