From: Baylor College of Medicine
Published November 14, 2017 10:14 AM

Defects in cell's 'waste disposal system' linked to Parkinson's

An international study has shed new light on the genetic factors associated with Parkinson’s disease, pointing at a group of lysosomal storage disorder genes as potential major contributors to the onset and progression of this common neurodegenerative disorder. The study appears in the journal Brain.

“In recent years, defects in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene have been identified as significant risk factors for Parkinson’s disease. Deficiencies in this gene also are known to cause Gaucher disease, a lysosomal storage disorder,” said first author Dr. Laurie Robak, instructor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.

The lysosomes are sac-shaped structures inside all cells that are in charge of clearing the waste produced by the cells. The sacs contain enzymes that degrade cellular waste into its constituent components, which the cell can recycle or discard. When lysosomes fail and cellular waste accumulates, disease follows. Gaucher disease is one of about 50 lysosomal storage disorders.

Read more at Baylor College of Medicine

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