Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parkinson’s dopamine killers identified

Anumantha Kanthasamy has been working to understand the complex mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade and thinks he has discovered a critical pathway that might lead to a cure.
IOWA STATE—Researchers have found an essential key that could lead to new treatments and possibly a cure for Parkinson’s disease. They have identified the protein that kills dopamine-producing cells in the brain—and a way to disable it.
Parkinson’s disease sufferers lack a sufficient amount of dopamine. Anumantha Kanthasamy, a distinguished professor of biomedical sciences and W. Eugene and Linda R. Lloyd Endowed Chair in Neurotoxicology at Iowa State University, discovered that a novel protein—known as protein kinase-C—destroys dopamine-producing cells.

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