Parkinson’s disease development may be influenced by calcium levels

Written by Roisin Conneely

Researchers from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK) have demonstrated that elevated levels of calcium in the brain may cause the accumulation of alpha-synuclein (a-syn), the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thus far, the role of a-syn in PD has been unclear. The researchers were able overcome this by visualizing the behavior of a-syn, isolating synaptic vesicles and observing them via high-resolution microscopy. The team observed that calcium was capable of mediating interactions between small membranous structures inside nerve endings and a-syn and demonstrated that excesses of either calcium or a-syn may be the trigger for pathways resulting in neuronal...

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