Parkinson’s disease is one of the most heavily researched health conditions. It has no cure and leaves patients immobile and unable to care for themselves as it progresses. The volunteers at Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson’s in Windsor, CT, are committed to finding a treatment and are excited to share a new breakthrough in the scientific community. This discovery sheds light on a crucial part of the disease’s progression and a possible solution for slowing or preventing it.
Parkinson’s disease manifests when dopamine-producing cells in the brain unexplainably begin to die. As the body receives less dopamine, the brain is unable to communicate with muscles. This is why the most common symptoms are tremors and immobility.
It’s been long-standing knowledge that gene mutations play a role in Parkinson’s, specifically, the LRRK2 gene. However, researchers were never sure what this gene’s function was in the brain. A recent study supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has made a significant breakthrough that may finally show LRRK2’s purpose.
Publishing in Neuron, study findings revealed a connection between LRRK2 and dopamine neurons. Normally, this gene helps preserve dopamine cells, but as it mutates, it stops protecting them. Its presence is essential, and as it becomes absent later in life, it correlates with the natural development of Parkinson’s disease.
These findings have provided valuable insight into treatment, specifically with medication. Whereas inhibitory medications were considered a useful solution in the past, they may be advancing the loss of LRRK2 and its LRRK1 complement. Now, researchers may now be able to develop more effective medications.
The volunteers at Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson’s remains committed to helping patients with Parkinson’s disease. Contact them if you’re interested in learning more about the recent research or joining a clinical trial. Call (860) 266-6040 to speak with a representative and visit their website and Facebook to learn more about their services.