Advances in genetic models of Parkinson's disease

Michael K. Lee, Donald L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurological cause of death, after Alzheimer's disease, in elderly people. PD is characterized by a variety of motoric dysfunctions resulting from the loss of striatal dopamine, which accompany progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. While the causes of PD remain elusive in most cases, recent molecular genetic studies have linked mutations in the α-synuclein gene with a rare form of familial PD and mutations in the parkins gene with an autosomal recessive form of familial PD. Identification of these genes is allowing for creation of genetic models where in vivo degenerative processes can be studied. In particular, various transgenic animals expressing human α-synuclein variants have demonstrated that α-synuclein abnormalities can lead to neurodegenerative changes in vivo. These and other genetic models of nigrostriatal degeneration will allow investigators to define in vivo cellular mechanisms that are relevant to PD pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-466
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neuroscience Research
Volume1
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

Keywords

  • Lewy body
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Synuclein
  • Synucleinopathy
  • Transgenic flies
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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