Defective Nucleolus Might be a Possible Cause of Parkinson’s Disease

Dr. Rosanna Parlato and Dr. Ingrid Grummt of the DKFZ, The German Cancer Research Center, found that a defective nucleous might be responsible for Parkinson’s Disease. Several rare hereditary diseases are also said to be caused by abnormal nucleoli. Recently it was discovered that they might be a possible cause of neurodegenerative disorders like the Huntington Disease and the Alzheimer’s.

Nucleolus is a tiny structure inside the nucleus where the proteins and RNA molecules are assembled. This forms the ribosomes which are the actual protein factories of the cells. The researchers studied the dopamine-producing neurons found in the brain of the Parkinson’s Disease patients. The cells do not function properly and die which causes the palsy symptoms. The scientists found that most of the nucleoli in the cells of the patient were defective.

To prove their point, the researchers carried out experiments on mice with modified DNA. According to Dr. Rosanna Parlato, defective nucleoli cause oxidative stress in the cells. This might lead to huge cell damage which can be a prerequisite for the nerve damage of the Parkinson’s Diseases. However, the scientists are not absolutely sure whether the damaged nucleolus is the only cause of the disease.

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