The primary focus of this lab is to determine what the initiating trigger for sporadic Parkinson’s disease is.
There is very little word done in this area due to the difficulty in studying this in the human. Due to compensatory mechanisms in the brain when a person first presents with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease they will have already lost about 50% of their dopaminergic neurons and will have had the degenerations from 3-7years without even knowing about it.
After diagnosis, with treatment, the patient will go onto live for another 12-30 or so years. Therefore by the time the Parkinsonian brain is available for examination a considerable amount of time since the initiation of the disease has passed and any initiating causes is likely obscured by the subsequent pathology.
In this lab we therefore aim to model those very early events in an attempt to find out exactly what can trigger the disease.