Researchers have discovered the secret of a brain enzyme responsible for Parkinson's disease.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Dundee University. For years, PINK1 was said to be crucial in preventing the degenerative nerve condition.
"The PINK1 gene was identified as a key player by researchers back in 2004,"Professor David Dexter, deputy director of research at Parkinson's UK told the Daily Mail. Adding, "Drugs that can switch the PINK1/parkin pathway back on may be able to slow, stop or even reverse nerve cell death, not only in people who have these rare inherited forms of the condition, but also those with non-inherited Parkinson’s."
The research helps scientists understand what the protein looks like and how changes in gene can prevent the PINK1 from working. "This knowledge is vital for developing drugs that can switch PINK1 back on, which has the potential to slow or even stop the progression of the condition, something current treatments are unable to do," Professor Dexter explained in the report.
The study could be the beginning of understanding how the enzyme can be used to provide treatment, including symptoms of the condition.
Co-author of the study Professor Daan van Aalten told the Daily Mail: "Our work now provides a framework to undertake future studies directed at finding new drug like molecules that can target and activate PINK1."
The study was originally published in the journal eLife.