Genetic Find Aids Disease Research at Mayo Clinic; Breakthrough Scientists Have Discovered the Defect That Damages the Brain's Neurons. Results New Details Could Help Treat, or Cure, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's Diseases

By Cox, Jeremy | The Florida Times Union, January 12, 2009 | Go to article overview

Genetic Find Aids Disease Research at Mayo Clinic; Breakthrough Scientists Have Discovered the Defect That Damages the Brain's Neurons. Results New Details Could Help Treat, or Cure, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's Diseases


Cox, Jeremy, The Florida Times Union


Byline: JEREMY COX

Of the billions of people who have ever walked this planet, only about 100 have been diagnosed with Perry syndrome.

So why would an international team of scientists led by a Mayo Clinic Jacksonville researcher spend seven mostly frustrating years looking into obscure corners of the human genome in search of its cause?

For the chance to unlock a key biological doorway that could lead to better treatments - or even a cure - for Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease and depression.

In May, the team discovered what it was looking for, complete with a eureka moment. The findings appear today in the online edition of Nature Genetics and in the journal's February issue.

"To me, it's one piece in the puzzle of the whole picture of neurodegeneration," said Matt Farrer, the study's lead author and a Mayo Jacksonville neuroscientist.

The team's hunt uncovered among Perry syndrome patients a genetic defect in the protein that serves as the molecular motor for all of the body's cells. For reasons still unknown, the defect only affects neurons, or brain cells, in the midbrain, the part that controls muscle movement.

Perry syndrome was first recognized in 1975 as a distinct illness. Its symptoms are so similar to Parkinson's disease that doctors didn't realize for decades that something else was to blame for their patients' deterioration, Farrer said.

A person with the Perry defect typically sees the first signs around 50 years old. The syndrome begins with the onset of depression so devastating that one-third of patients commit suicide.

Those who survive the first stage, though, face a grim decline: Parkinson's-like symptoms and weight loss, followed by difficulty breathing and loss of bowel control. Most patients die within two to 10 years.

Farrer and the other researchers analyzed blood samples taken from four Perry syndrome-prone families. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Genetic Find Aids Disease Research at Mayo Clinic; Breakthrough Scientists Have Discovered the Defect That Damages the Brain's Neurons. Results New Details Could Help Treat, or Cure, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's Diseases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.