Author(s)

Delia VaheyFollow

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2012

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Primary Subject Area

Biology, Neuroscience

Keywords

Parkinson's disease, protein aggregation, alpha-synuclein, L-DOPA

Disciplines

Medical Neurobiology | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease is a motor system disorder that is caused primarily by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The most affected brain structure is the pars compacta of the substantia nigra. This area of the brain is essential to the control of voluntary movement, and so its impairment leads to symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and impaired balance. The neuronal protein alpha-synuclein has been shown to be heavily involved in the pathogenesis of the disease at the cellular level. The currently available treatments for PD mainly target dopamine regulation, and there been no cure developed for the disease at present. New treatments must be explored by an evaluation and synthesis of the current research and should be adjusted for each patient individually.