A new Israeli study has revealed a major cause of degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Ben Gurion University (BGU) said Sunday.
During the aging process, proteins in the body lose their proper structure and form aggregates that cause the diseases. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, BGU researchers found that the quality control systems of the body’s proteins reorganize over the years.
The specific quality control system of brain proteins changes with age and loses its ability to maintain the proper structure of proteins, and therefore can no longer prevent the diseases.
The study found that the essential protein control system, which exists in all tissue cells in the body, does not function in the same way in every cell but is adapted according to the proteins’ amount and interaction in each tissue.
The change in the control system in late ages eliminates its specific match with the tissue, and thus can no longer prevent destructive defects.
“The findings can lead to the development of drugs that will maintain the ability to control protein quality in old ages and hence slow down the development of degenerative diseases,” the researchers concluded.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that gets progressively worse over time and causes trouble with movement. It’s thought to affect about 1 per centTrusted Source of people over the age of 65.
Parkinson’s is caused by the death of cells in a part of your brain called the substantia nigra. When these cells die, levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine drop in your brain. This reduction leads to symptoms such as tremors, impaired balance, rigid muscles, and difficulty walking. Collectively these symptoms are known as parkinsonism.
Parkinson’s disease is attributed to about 85 per cent of parkinsonism cases. The other 15 per cent of cases are attributed to one of several conditions called atypical parkinsonisms.