Scientists search for explanation of neuron death in Parkinson’s disease
Sept. 05, 2012 College News - Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research and Chairman of Biophysics, and his research team had their study, Alterations in bioenergetic function induced by Parkinson’s disease mimetic compounds: Lack of correlation with superoxide generation, published in the September issue of Journal of Neurochemistry.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by motor impairment and tremors resulting from damage to, and eventual death of, dopamine-secreting nerve cells. The death of these neurons is preceded by dysfunction of the cells’ mitochondria and increased production of harmful byproducts of metabolism. Doses of antioxidants, the body’s natural method of combating these harmful byproducts, have not proven successful in treating Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Kalyanaraman and his team are examining the correlation between mitochondrial dysfunction, the harmful byproducts, and cell death. Their findings are intended to provide a better picture of the breakdown in this metabolic pathway in order to design effective therapies for Parkinson’s patients.
Other authors on this paper from the MCW Department of Biophysics include Brian P. Dranka, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow; and Jacek Zielonka, PhD, Research Scientist II. They collaborated with Anumantha Kanthasamy, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Sciences and Distinguished Professor / W.E. Lloyd Endowed Chair in Neurotoxicology at Iowa State University.
Alterations in bioenergetic…