Parkinson's & Calcium Channels

Lindsay Creque, Alaina Coleman

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease(PD): A disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors.

Two genes responsible for Parkinson's disease: The alpha-synuclein gene located in the long arm of chromosome 4, and the parkin gene located in the long arm of chromosome 6.

Causes of Parkinson's/Symptoms

Parkinson's disease is caused by the progressive impairment or deterioration of neurons (nerve cells) in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. When functioning normally, these neurons produce a vital brain chemical known as dopamine.

In the brain, dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter and releases neurons to send signals.

Symptoms: Freezing/ hesitating before stepping, micrographia (shrinking of handwriting), mask-like expression, unwanted accelerations, stooped posture, tremors, stiff muscles, and decreased swinging of the arms.

Big image
Big image

Cell Signaling Pathway Involved

-Synaptic (nervous system)

-Short distance signaling (cell to cell)

Correct Mechanism

The correct mechanism in a normal person's brain would be a functioning substantia nigra. This structure of the brain controls the calcium channels which transport a healthy amount of dopamine to body cells.

Incorrect Mechanism

The incorrect mechanism in a Parkinson's patient is a dysfunctional substantia nigra. When this is not functioning normally, dopamine which release neurons to send signals, therefore the body has a deficiency of dopamine which causes a lack of signals needing to be received.
Big image

Pathway of Parkinson's

Advances/Direction of Current Research

  • Developed tools and techniques for neural circuits.
  • Shows how circuits turn on and off by testing animals.
  • Optogenetics.