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Good news on Parkinson's disease

February 6, 2012 - Steve Murch
I'm on some many email lists – wanted and unwanted – that sometimes it's difficult to find the interesting stuff and the necessary stuff, they both get lost in the endless supply of garbage. One of the things I don't subscribe to, but receive gladly, is the Remington Life Sciences News. Today's edition caught my eye with a story out of East Lansing.

This is incredible news. It's always encouraging when a debilitating disease like Parkinson’s sees a major breakthrough in research or treatment. This time, it's the research taking the spotlight.

The press release states:   “A team of researchers led by Basir Ahmad, a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State University, has demonstrated that slow-wriggling alpha-synuclein proteins are the cause of aggregation, or clumping together, which is the first step of Parkinson’s. The results are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Proteins, which are chain molecules composed of amino acids, do most of the work in cells. While scientists understand how proteins are structured, they do not yet know how they are built – a process known as folding. When errors happen in folding, proteins clump together, form plaques such as those found in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and cause cells to degenerate.”

While this doesn't mean the disease is going to be eradicated tomorrow, it is encouraging news on progress being made. Let's hope the good news for scientific advancement in all diseases continues this year.


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