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PD_ASO_Spring11_Psych115_Wk4

PD_ASO_Spring11_Psych115_Wk4 - Genes The Brain Parkinsons...

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Genes & The Brain: Parkinson’s disease and α -synuclein Spring 2011 Psych 115 Week 4
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What is Parkinson’s disease (PD) ? Progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNPC) Symptoms: Resting tremors Rigidity in muscles Bradykinesia (slowed movement) Dementia in the later stages
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Nigrostriatal pathway Nigrostriatal pathway involves parts of the basal ganglia Striatum (caudate & putamen) Substantia nigra pars compacta Under the influence of dopamine released from SNPC, the striatum regulates voluntary movement PD symptoms emerge when 50-80% of dopaminergic SNPC neurons have died
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Who gets PD? PD is the 2nd most common neurodegenerative disorder Both men and women, but more common in men Average age of onset = 61, but can be as early as 40 Only a small percentage (~10%) of PD cases are familial (inherited from parents) Majority of PD cases is sporadic (~90%)
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Diagnosis of PD
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