Stress in cells may be responsible for Parkinson’s

Alan Wu

November 11, 2010

New research has shown that neurons which release dopamine may die from becoming over-stressed, a deficit that may cause the development of Parkinson’s, according to

“This small group of neurons uses a metabolically expensive strategy to do its job. This lifestyle choice stresses the neurons’ mitochondria and elevates the production of superoxide and free radicals – molecules closely linked to aging, cellular dysfunction and death,” said lead author of the study, D. James Surmeier, according to the news provider.

These findings indicate that a cure for this cellular stress may actually delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease in the future. One drug, isradipine, has already been found to be effective at reducing this condition.

The news source reports that Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States, with more than one million Americans suffering from the illness.

Symptoms include tremors throughout the body, rigidity and reduced mobility.

Those with Parkinson’s may want to invest in a personal emergency response system so that they can live safely at their own home. This device can be used to send a medical alert to caregivers or doctors when assistance is required.

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