A new review summarizing recent data on the complex pathophysiology of PD explores the interweave of events that contribute to dopaminergic neurodegeneration (Lim & Zhang. Front Neurol 2013; epublished April 8, 2013).
Included is a discussion of abnormal quality-control mechanisms in protein homeostasis that enable the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and how alpha-synuclein in turn inhibits protein quality control; the role of mitochondrial dysfunction; and the interaction of protein processing, mitochondrial function and reactive oxygen species in nigral dopaminergic neurodegeneration.
The review also provides figures on protein quality-control systems, parkin/PINK1, and a summary of how molecular pathophysiological events interact in PD that readers may find useful for teaching purposes.
Free full text is available at: www.frontiersin.org/Neurodegeneration/10.3389/fneur.2013.00033/abstract.
Dr. Michel Panisset: Although the cause for Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, new data are helping to open up new avenues for investigations, e.g. gastrointestinal involvement, increased absorption and mesenteric plexus Lewy bodies, and the prion-like behavior of alpha-synuclein. Finding the cause of PD is still a ways off but we are making progress on many fronts.