Researchers bag $6Mn grant to study the link between Parkinson’s & aging

By Akshay Kedari  | Date: 2020-10-01

Researchers bag $6Mn grant to study the link between Parkinson’s & aging

A three-year grant worth $6 million, funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, was recently awarded to a collaborative research team from Michigan’s Van Andel Institute (VAI) and the University of Minnesota Medical School. The grant was given through the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative to further the scientific research on molecular connections between Parkinson’s disease and aging.

The main risk factor during the natural process of aging for both genetic and sporadic forms of Parkinson’s is that humans tend to accumulate senescent cells inside their tissues. Cellular senescence is a phenomenon where cells cease to grow and divide while being unable to regenerate tissues.

For the record, cellular senescence plays a crucial role in both wound healing and embryonic development. It prevents the mutation of several types of cancers by restricting damaged cells and their unwanted growth.

According to a statement, Michael Lee, Ph.D., Professor at Institute of Translational Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, said that aging is the prominent risk factor in Parkinson’s disease, yet medical science is unaware of the reason.

For the coming three years, the team of researchers will conduct an in-depth study on cellular senescence to observe and analyze its part in the neurodegeneration which is commonly seen in the Parkinson’s disease models.

Sources cite that this study will focus on using novel mouse models to understand whether premature senescence creates weakness in particular cell types. Going forward, the team of researchers will combine mouse models of familial Parkinson’s and senescence to determine the role of senescence in the disease related to mutations in the LRRK2, VPS35 and SNCA genes.

Darren Moore, Ph.D., Professor in Neurodegenerative Science, Van Andel’s Center, said that LRRK2, VPS35 and SNCA have shown genetic relations to Parkinson’s, especially later in life. This provides promising opportunities for the advancement of novel treatments developed to target the main causes of the illness.

Source Credit: https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2020/09/28/6m-grant-awarded-for-research-into-aging-role-in-parkinsons/

 

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Akshay Kedari     aeresearch.net

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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