Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Parkinson's Disease, a possible cure

I am sad to hear that Bob Hoskins joining the growing number of people who is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease its a condition that effects mostly elderly people. my initial article generally explains the reason of this disease, which effects the central nervous system. its a build up of deposits in the area and possibly suffocates and disrupts the function of the dopamine production of these cells.

Some people have no idea of the causes, while other theories indicate that Genetic factors are at work.

Studies show that first-degree relatives of people with PD are twice as likely to develop PD than relatives of people without the disease. Male relatives, in particular, seem to have twice the risk as female relatives. While some who these families must have been exposed to some environmental hazard or pathogen, many other scientists claim that these facts point to a genetic contribution to PD. Or environmental as some people would suggest that silver mercury (in teeth fillings), pesticides and carbon monoxides are the contributing factors on the disease.

Also, it is believed that oxidative stress can cause Parkinson's disease. Oxidation is a process in which free radicals (unstable molecules lacking one electron), in an attempt to replace the missing electron, react with other molecules (such as iron). Free radicals are normally formed in the brain and body, but usually the brain and body have mechanisms to get rid of them. In people with Parkinson's disease, the mechanisms may not be effective or they may produce too many free radicals. It is also possible that environmental toxins may contribute to abnormal free radical formation and lead to Parkinson's disease. Oxidation is thought to cause damage to tissues, including neurons. In most cases, antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage.

A number of genetic mutations have recently been identified, suggesting that Parkinson's may run in some families. However, a major US twin study suggested that environment plays a larger role than inheritance. The current consensus is that genetic factors are dominant only in Parkinson's that appears before age 50. So far, five genes have been identified that are definitively associated with Parkinson's disease.

SNCA (synuclein, alpha non A4 component of amyloid precursor): SNCA makes the protein alpha-synuclein. In brain cells of individuals with Parkinson's disease, this protein aggregates in clumps called Lewy bodies. Mutations in the SNCA gene are found in early-onset Parkinson's disease.

PARK2 (Parkinson's disease autosomal recessive, juvenile 2): The PARK2 gene makes the protein parkin. Mutations of the PARK2 gene are mostly found in individuals with juvenile Parkinson's disease. Parkin normally helps cells break down and recycle proteins.

PARK7 (Parkinson's disease autosomal recessive, early onset 7): PARK7 mutations are found in early-onset Parkinson's disease. The PARK7 gene makes the DJ-1 protein, which may protect cells from oxidative stress.

PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1): Mutations of this gene are found in early-onset Parkinson's disease. The exact function of the protein made by PINK1 is not known, but it may protect structures within the cell called mitochondria from stress.

LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2): LRRK2 makes the protein dardarin. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene have been linked to late-onset Parkinson's disease.

The growing evidence of Parkinson's disease seem to point more in the direction of genetic mutation. In the treatment of this disease most people would use the conventional dopamine producing drugs which is have problems in themselves. One of the main disadvantage is that these drugs can cause hallucinations. Another possible cure would be using stem cells to replace dying cells that manufactures dopamine can be replaced.
Though results have been unreliable and there is a possible risk of over producing cells which creates too much dopamine which can be toxic in itself.

Gene therapy is now the new buzz word which may be able to solve the problem by fixing a  chemistry imbalance in the brain. Dr Matthew During from ohio state University has been getting results by using a harmless virus with the desired genetic makeup to be injected into the brain area. The results seem to be 40 to 60% reliable. My personnel thoughts are that out of the disease, Parkinson's have 6 genes that trigger the brain cells to die. If early detection could be establish there might be a way of using gene therapy to prevent this whole situation. Along with the introduction a healthy diet and gene therapy it might be a way to slow down this whole disease. Meantime this new gene therapy seems to be a way of relieving the symptoms of shaking limbs and slow movement Synonymous to this disease. Weather you believe in the prevention or relieving the symptoms things are looking up for sufferers of this horrid disease.

No comments:

Post a Comment