A research team out of the University of Montreal has recently announced the discovery that certain brain cells in those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease can burn out. Furthermore, they say that this discovery could prove an important one in terms of researching the development of the disease over a lifetime.
Lead study author Louis-Éric Trudeau is a professor of pharmacology and neurosciences. He has spent the better part of two decades studying the part of the brain that causes schizophrenia, drug addiction, and Parkinson’s disease. He explains, “Like a motor constantly running at high speed, these neurons need to produce an incredible amount of energy to function. They appear to exhaust themselves and die prematurely.”
In addition, Dr. Arthur Roach works with charity Parkinson’s UK. He comments that this study has provided new insight into the way cells can be affected, as well as “strong support to the idea that it is the unique structure and function of these cells that makes them especially susceptible to a damaging process called oxidative stress.”
Furthermore, he continues, “This study provides strong support to the idea that it is the unique structure and function of these cells that makes them especially susceptible to a damaging process called oxidative stress…We hope that this study will rekindle interest in the approach, and even lead to new treatments based on the most up-to-date ideas about oxidative stress.”
Trudeau also goes on to report that as people age, the neurons in the brain which break down first might not necessarily be designed to last 100 years. And so, he says, if we can develop a medicine which slows down this degradation for these neurons we could be on the verge of developing a way to completely stop Parkinson’s disease forever.