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disease…read more

Slide 2

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Parkinson's is a
disorder. Say that three
times fast!
How it occurs
Involves the loss of nerve cells in the
substantia nigra.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It has
axons which spread through the frontal
cortex, the brain stem and the spinal
Dopamine-producing cells die and motor
control is gradually lost.
Symptoms usually begin to show after
80% of these cells are gone.…read more

Slide 3

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Back to The Future star
Michael J. Fox was
diagnosed with Parkinson's
when he was just 30 years
It usually develops in people over 50 years old,
but it can appear in younger people (very
The causes are still not clear.
In young-onset Parkinson's there is a relatively
strong genetic link.
In common Parkinson's the genetic link is
much weaker ­ other factors may also be
involved.…read more

Slide 4

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Tremor (shaking) of the muscles
Slow movements
Stiff muscles
Poor balance
Walking problems
Breathing and speech problems
Swallowing difficulty
Sleeping problems…read more

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Sadly, There is
Levodopa (L-dopa): a precursor of dopamine
which can cross the blood brain barrier and
be converted into dopamine
Dopamine agonists: they bind to dopamine
receptors in brain synapses and mimic the
effect of dopamine
MAOB inhibitors: inhibits the enzyme MAOB,
which breaks down dopamine in the brain
synapse…read more

Slide 6

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Gene therapy
Two approaches:
Adding genes to prevent the dopamine-
producing cells of the midbrain from dying
Adding genes to enhance the levels of
dopamine production in the remaining cells.
Some positive results, BUT there are major
problems in delivering the healthy genes to
the cells of the midbrain.…read more

Slide 7

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