June 13 (UPI) -- Using detailed brain cell analysis, researchers have found how a protein is possibly linked to Parkinson's disease.
"Our findings give us huge insight into why protein clumping is so damaging in Parkinson's, and highlight the need to develop therapies against the toxic form of alpha-synuclein, not the healthy non-clumped form," co-senior author Dr. Sonia Gandhi, a group Leader at Francis Crick Institute and University College London, said in a press release.
In the study, scientists compared healthy and clumped forms of the protein.
The researchers replicated the findings by turning inducible pluripotent stem cells derived from patient's skin cells into human brain cells that have a mutation in the alpha-synuclein gene.
Several efforts to limit alpha-synuclein clumping in Parkinson's patients are in the development stage right now.