School of Medicine researchers have described a missing link in understanding how damage to the body’s cellular power plants leads to Parkinson’s disease and some forms of heart failure. A mouse heart, in gray, shows signs of heart failure because it is missing a newly discovered key molecule in the process that culls unhealthy mitochondria from cells. Superimposed on the heart is a fruit fly heart tube, shown in color. It shows signs of failure because it is missing another key molecule in mitochondrial quality control.
Andrew Yoo, Robert Gereau and Michael Bruchas have been awarded grants from the National Institues of Health Common Fund to pursue visionary research that has the potential to transform science and improve human health.
Every day we make thousands of tiny predictions — when the bus will arrive, who is knocking on the door, whether the dropped glass will break. Now, in one of the first studies of its kind, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are beginning to unravel the process by which the brain makes these everyday prognostications.
New data offer hints to why Parkinson’s disease so selectively harms brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine, says Karen O’Malley, PhD, a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Workers exposed to welding fumes may be at increased risk of damage to the same brain area harmed by Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study by Brad Racette, MD, and researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
High levels of manganese and copper pollution in urban areas are linked to increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, according to a large-scale analysis of urban pollution and Parkinson’s incidence in the United States. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that people living in areas with higher levels of manganese pollution had a 78 percent greater risk of Parkinson’s disease than those living in areas free of such pollution.
Alison Goate, PhD, has been named director of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, a partnership between Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Hope Happens, a nonprofit foundation that supports research into neurodegenerative disorders.