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Parkinson's disease: part 1. Molecular pathology

Christopher Janson, Paola Leone, Andrew Freese
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 8 Number 6: Page 328 (February 2002)

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Abstract: Parkinson's disease is characterized by the loss of predominantly dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia, lead-ing to progressive impairment of motor function. Although its cause remains unknown, evidence suggests that both genetic and environmental factors play roles. Recent studies have identified several genes involved in the inherited forms of the disease. These gene products, which include a-synuclein and parkin, are also implicated in the more common, sporadic form of Parkinson's disease. Aggregation of fibrillar forms of a-synuclein and proteasomal dysfunction, both of which are exacerbated by oxidative stress, may provide a link between genetic and environmental factors.

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