February 6, 2010

Parkinson Disease: pink1/parkin and mitochondria

This article offers some insight into how pink1 and parkin mutations cause mitochondrial dysfunction, which ultimately leads to Parkinson's Disease. The exciting element in the article is what understanding the genetic forms of PD offers: gene-targeted therapies. It is this avenue of research that has the most promise for finding a "cure".


Anonymous said...

I am 80 and have Parkinson's. Now my brother (82)suspects that he has it but hasn't verified it. His daughter (52)also suspects she has it. Is it usually genetic? I don't know if any of our ancestors had it.

cogwheeler said...

It is usually not genetic, but it certainly can be. A recent estimate was that only 3% of Parkinson's disease was due to a genetic cause. If you have a family history, however, the chance that it is genetic is much higher. At this point there are no different treatments based on genetic status, so there is no clinical reason for testing. However, this may change in the future