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The past 25 years have seen a major expansion of knowledge concerning the cause of Parkinson's disease provided by an understanding of environmental and genetic factors that underlie the loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons. Based on the actions of toxins, postmortem investigations, and gene defects responsible for familial Parkinson's disease, there is now(More)
OBJECTIVE Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) represent a significant risk factor for developing Parkinson disease (PD). We investigated the enzymatic activity of glucocerebrosidase (GCase) in PD brains carrying heterozygote GBA mutations (PD+GBA) and sporadic PD brains. METHODS GCase activity was measured using a fluorescent assay in(More)
Mitochondrial dysfunction and perturbed degradation of proteins have been implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Mutations in the Parkin and PINK1 genes are a cause of familial PD. PINK1 is a putative kinase associated with mitochondria, and loss of PINK1 expression leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which increases with time. Parkin is(More)
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative process characterized by numerous motor and nonmotor clinical manifestations for which effective, mechanism-based treatments remain elusive. Here we discuss a series of critical issues that we think researchers need to address to stand a better chance of solving the different challenges posed by this pathology.
Alpha synuclein can be phosphorylated at serine129 (P-S129), and the presence of highly phosphorylated alpha-synuclein in Lewy bodies suggests changes to its phosphorylation status has an important pathological role. We demonstrate that the kinase(s) responsible for alpha-synuclein S129 phosphorylation is constitutively active in SH-SY5Y cells and involves(More)
A major barrier to research on Parkinson's disease is inaccessibility of diseased tissue for study. One solution is to derive induced pluripotent stem cells from patients and differentiate them into neurons affected by disease. Triplication of SNCA, encoding α-synuclein, causes a fully penetrant, aggressive form of Parkinson's disease with dementia.(More)
Mutations in the SPG7 gene, encoding the mitochondrial protein paraplegin, were the first to be identified in autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (ARHSP). Four different SPG7 mutations have been described so far in association with both pure and complicated HSP phenotypes. Muscle biopsies from the most severely affected patients have shown(More)
OBJECTIVE The proline-rich transmembrane protein (PRRT2) gene was recently identified using exome sequencing as the cause of autosomal dominant paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) with or without infantile convulsions (IC) (PKD/IC syndrome). Episodic neurologic disorders, such as epilepsy, migraine, and paroxysmal movement disorders, often coexist and(More)
OBJECTIVE To investigate chaperone-mediated autophagy in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). DESIGN Postmortem observational study. SETTING University Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, University College London. SUBJECTS Postmortem samples from 7 PD, 6 Alzheimer disease (AD), and 8 control brains. MAIN OUTCOME(More)
The neurotoxin MPTP induces nigral dopaminergic cell death in primates and produces a partial model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Pramipexole is a D2/D3 dopamine receptor agonist used in the symptomatic treatment of PD, and which also protects neuronal cells against dopaminergic toxins in vitro. We now demonstrate that pramipexole partially prevents MPTP(More)