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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes Parkinson's disease?

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    Thanks

    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    This is something which is not well understood.

    A lot of current research is focused on a protein called alpha-synuclein. There is fairly good evidence that alpha-synuclein can adopt a “wrong” shape (amyloid) which accumulates in what are called Lewy bodies in the basal ganglia of the brain.

    This may lead to the death of those cells, resulting in the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

    When we understand more about this process it may be possible to design drugs which will prevent death of  basal ganglia cells.

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