Parkinson's Disease Medical Research
Fungal amyloid proteins as a possible initiating trigger for Parkinson’s disease
This year is the 200th year since Parkinson’s disease was first described back in 1817, by British physician James Parkinson. Despite 200 years of research we still do not know what causes the disease and there is still no way of stopping it or even slowing it down. While the initial cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, the underlying pathology appears to involve the aggregation of a neural protein called alpha-synuclein. Alpha synuclein forms aggregates which induce the normal version of the protein to also misfold and stick together. These abnormal forms of the protein can then be transported throughout the brain to interconnected brain regions, causing the disease pathology to spread, resulting in the ongoing progression that we see in patients with the disease. In addition to causing the normal version of the protein to aggregate, some forms of the misfolded protein also form pore like structures which cause calcium influx and results in neural degeneration. It is this death of brain cells in different parts of the brain that causes the symptoms that we are familiar with.
Supporting the community with parkinsons
Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive neurological condition. In Victoria alone, 27,000 people are living with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Victoria raises awareness and funds for services and research to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s across the state. Our multi-disciplinary health team delivers information, education and peer support services to people with Parkinson’s, their families and health professionals. In addition, we fund vital research across Australia that supports the development of more effective treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.