Dec 1, 2021

Scientists listed ways of applying genetic engineering to treat Parkinson’s disease

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Circa 2019

Researchers of Sechenov University and University of Pittsburgh described the most promising strategies in applying genetic engineering for studying and treating Parkinson’s disease. This method can help evaluate the role of various cellular processes in pathology progression, develop new drugs and therapies, and estimate their efficacy using animal disease models. The study was published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder accompanied by a wide array of motor and cognitive impairments. It develops mostly among elderly people (after the age of 55–60). Parkinson’s symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty controlling their movements, walking and talking and, more importantly, taking care of themselves. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, medicines, surgical treatment, and other therapies can often relieve some symptoms.

The disease is characterized by significant (up to 50–70%) loss of dopaminergic neurons, i.e. nerve cells that synthesize neurotransmitter dopamine which enables communication between the neurons. Another hallmark is the presence of Lewy bodies — oligomeric deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein inside the neurons.

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