June 20, 2019 – Parkinson’s Model


Anchor lead: A mouse model may point the way toward a better understanding of how Parkinson’s disease develops, Elizabeth Tracey reports

A protein called synuclein that’s involved in nerve cell communication is thought to be the culprit in causing Parkinson’s disease. Now a mouse model developed by Ted Dawson, a Parkinson’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, shows that when aberrant synuclein is injected into the GI tract, the condition develops.

Dawson: We took pathologic synuclein that we made in a test tube. We injected it into the stomach. These mice get Parkinson’s disease, move slowly, they’ve got GI problems, problems with cognition, anxiety, depression. It just completely replicates Parkinson’s disease. It really supports the idea that Parkinson’s disease can start in the stomach.  :32

Now the question of how to interrupt this process is being investigated, Dawson says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.