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 The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>