New system for detecting Parkinson’s early

Written on |

New method tracks early stages of protein aggregation involved in Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease, affecting everything from speech, posture and gait to digestion, sleep, impulse control and cognition. Therapies exist that alleviate some symptoms of the disease, but there is still no cure for Parkinson’s, which affects close to one million Americans and 10 million people worldwide.

A new Tel Aviv University study unveils a novel method for detecting the aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein, a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. With this knowledge, caregivers could introduce treatment that has the potential to significantly delay disease progression.

By the time a patient is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, 50 percent to 80 percent of the dopaminergic cells in the part of the brain called substania nigra are already dead, possibly due to development of toxicity as result of alpha-synuclein aggregation. “We have developed a new method for tracking early stages of aggregation of alpha-synuclein using super-resolution microscopy and advanced analysis,” says Prof. Uri Ashery, co-author of the study and head of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and TAU’s George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. The research was published in Acta Neuropathologica on May 31.

“Together with our collaborators at Cambridge University, who developed a special mouse model for Parkinson’s disease, we were able to detect different stages of the aggregation of this protein,” Prof. Ashery explains. “We correlated the aggregation with the deteriorating loss of neuronal activity and deficits in the behavior of the mice.”

A big step towards early detection

“This is extremely important because we can now detect early stages of alpha-synuclein aggregation and monitor the effects of drugs on this aggregation,” says Dr. Dana Bar-On of the Sagol School of Neuroscience, a co-author of the study. “We hope that this research can be implemented for use in the early diagnosis of Parkinson’s in patients. We’re currently working to implement the methods in a minimally invasive manner with Parkinson’s patients.”

The researchers, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, were able to illustrate the effect of a specific drug, anle138b, on this protein aggregation and correlated these results with the normalization of the Parkinson’s phenotype in the mice, according to Prof. Ashery. “This is a significant step forward in the world of Parkinson’s research,” he says.

The researchers are planning to expand their research to family members of Parkinson’s disease patients. “By detecting aggregates using minimally invasive methods in relatives of Parkinson’s disease patients, we can provide early detection and intervention and the opportunity to track and treat the disease before symptoms are even detected,” Prof. Ashery concludes.

Related posts

Medicinal Cannabis Oil Effective for Treating Autism

22 December 2021

TAU Students Racing Towards a Greener Campus

21 December 2021

Parent Smartphone Use Could Harm Child Development

20 December 2021

Breakthrough TAU Discovery Key to Reversing ALS

17 December 2021

Experimental Drug Displays Effectiveness in Treating Symptoms of Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease

16 December 2021

New Ethical Code for World Research of Ancient DNA

15 December 2021

Saving Lives with Artificial Intelligence

9 December 2021

TAU Experts on Omicron: “Don’t Panic”

7 December 2021

Britain and Israel Team Up on Challenge of Healthy Ageing

11 November 2021

TAU Researchers Identify COVID Proteins that Cause Strokes and Heart Attacks

8 November 2021

Help A Friend Out?

7 October 2021

Can’t Multitask Anymore?

6 October 2021

Why Do We Squabble Over The AC?

5 October 2021

The Immune System’s Double Agents

5 October 2021

Recruiting ‘Fighting Cells’ to Destroy Tumors

14 September 2021

TAU Team Reverses Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

10 September 2021

Victoria

Tok Corporate Centre, Level 1,
459 Toorak Road, Toorak VIC 3142
Phone: +61 3 9296 2065
Email: office@aftau.asn.au

New South Wales

P.O. Box 4044, Maroubra South,
NSW 2035
Phone: +61 418 465 556
Email: davidsolomon@aftau.org.au

Western Australia

P O Box 36, Claremont,
WA  6010
Phone: :+61 411 223 550
Email: clivedonner@thelinqgroup.com