Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have helped develop a nanobody capable of getting through the tough exterior of brain cells and untangling misshapen proteins that lead to Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and other neurocognitive disorders caused by the damaging protein.
Johns Hopkins Medicine is one of three research institutions with scientists awarded $8.9 million to study the growing body of evidence that Parkinson’s disease originates among cells in the gut and travels up the body’s neurons to the brain. The research aims to develop treatments to prevent or halt progression of the disease.
University of Utah Health scientists have identified a molecule that slows cells’ production of alpha-synuclein, a protein that forms toxic aggregates in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. Its discovery points toward a new strategy for treating the disease and potentially stopping its progression.
Rush researchers have shown that two lab-developed and nasally-delivered peptides helped slow the spread of alpha-synuclein in mice.
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A study suggests that reducing tau protein in brain neurons will not protect against Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementias. If borne out, this result differs from Alzheimer’s disease, where reducing endogenous tau levels in brain neurons is protective for multiple models of the disease.