Seven to ten million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease (PD). A key characteristic of PD is the deterioration of nerve pathways in the brain that rely on the specific neurotransmitter dopamine. Despite knowing this, current treatment options can only offer symptom relief. Finding an effective restorative treatment option that slows or prevents disease progression has so far proved elusive.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, believe that pathways that rely on certain organelles in the cell may contribute to the underlying mechanisms responsible for PD.
Our cells rely on these organelles for proper functioning. Any damage done to them is reflected by decreased energy production and increased oxidative stress that leads to cellular dysfunction and death. The authors suggest that treatments that aim to restore or repair these defective organelles might prove helpful in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.