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A novel tool to help gain deeper insights into Parkinson’s disease

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A novel tool to help gain deeper insight into Parkinson’s diseaseScientists of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)  (Indian School of Mines ISM) Dhanbad and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR)-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology(IICB) teamed up to find a solution to understand Parkinson’s disease which is a common neurodegenerative disease with no cure.

Key Points:

i.The Scientists from IIT (ISM) and CSIR-IICB, Biology, Kolkata teamed to find a solution to this disease. The Research team of IIT (ISM) led by Dr.UmakantaTripathy ,a physicist studies the nonlinear behaviour of biomaterials using Z-scan technique, a machine that he built in his institute.

Dr. Krishnananda Chattopadhyay of CSIR-IICB, a biophysicist working to understand ASyn aggregation and its implications in Parkinson’s disease.

ii.Z-scan method is a technique helped in monitoring both the early and late stage of aggregation of ASyn.

iii.They found that the protein possesses nonlinearity starting from its monomeric state to the fibrillar structure.

iv.They made three main observations:

  1. The strength of nonlinearity is relatively stronger in the case of fibrils compared to the conformations of protein
  2. Each of the conformers populated in different stages of the aggregation landscape seems to have a specific nonlinear property which could be targeted
  3. Switch in the sign of nonlinearity in the late oligomers form at around 24 hours.

v.The team includes SumantaGhosh, Sakshi, Bikash Chandra Swain and RitobritaChakraborty. They submitted the research paper of their works to ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

vi.The team planned to extend the method to detect structures or conformation by systematic.

Parkinson’s disease:

The aggregation of proteinforms called alpha synuclein(ASyn) is believed to be the major reason in the pathology of this disease. The aggregation is abundant in the substantianigra portion in the midbrain of the Parkinson’s patients.

Study on Parkinson’s:

i.Researchers from across the globe are studying the mechanism of the aggregation of the proteinforms and the results of the aggregation in the death of neuronal cells observed in Parkinson’s disease believing that this could help in developing the drug to treat this disease.

ii.The end point of the aggregation is the formation of fibrils or small slender fibers with a protein having cross beta fold structure. This protein is studied using the Thioflavin T dye which binds the cross-beta structure and emits fluorescence.

iii.The researchers developed a drug by solving the three dimensional structures of the fibrils. These drugs did not work in the clinical trials.

iv.This failure taught the researchers the need to understand the fibrils and the variety of intermediates that form early in the aggregation process.

About IIT ISM Dhanbad:
Director– Rajiv Shekhar
Deputy Director– J K Pattanayak
Main Campus– Dhanbad, Jharkhand