US Scientists: A Small Protein Could Be the Key for the Cure of Parkinson's and DementiaHealth | August 9, 2019, Friday // 07:03| views
US scientists developed a new drug for the Parkinson's and dementia. The discovery, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports, conducted experiment on mice and human brain tissue and identified a protein that prevents the death of neurons, News 18 reported.
Known as alpha-synuclein, the protein performs a crucial function by repairing breaks that occur along the vast strands of DNA present in the nucleus of every cell of the body. Aggregates of alpha-synuclein, known as Lewy bodies, have long been connected to Parkinson's and other form of dementia.
Now, a team of US scientists has shown that alpha-synuclein also keeps grey matter healthy - offering hope of a medication that simulates or boosts it in those with Parkinson’s or similar conditions, News 18 reported.
Senior author Vivek Unni, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of neurology in the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, said: “This is the first time anyone has discovered one of its functions is DNA repair."
“That’s critical for cell survival – and it appears to be a function that’s lost in Parkinson’s disease,” Unni added.