Current Research



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    Abstract

    Cumulative evidence now suggests that the abnormal aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (αS) is a critical factor in triggering neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). In particular, a fundamental pathogenetic mechanism appears to involve targeting of neuronal membranes by soluble oligomeric intermediates of αS, leading to their disruption or permeabilisation. Therefore, a model assay was developed in which fluorophore-loaded unilamellar vesicles were permeabilised by soluble oligomers, the latter formed by aggregation of... Read More ›


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    Abstract

     

    Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are neurodegenerative disorders characterised by the misfolding of proteins into soluble prefibrillar aggregates. These aggregate complexes disrupt mitochondrial function, initiating a pathophysiological cascade leading to synaptic and neuronal degeneration. In order to explore the interaction of amyloid aggregates with mitochondrial membranes, we made use of two in vitro model systems, namely: (i) lipid vesicles with defined membrane compositions that mimic those of mitochondrial... Read More ›


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    Abstract

    Aggregation of alpha-synuclein (αS) into oligomers is critically involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Using confocal single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, we have studied the effects of 14 naturally-occurring polyphenolic compounds and black tea extract on αS oligomer formation. We found that a selected group of polyphenols exhibited potent dose-dependent inhibitory activity on αS aggregation. Moreover, they were also capable of robustly disaggregating pre-formed αS... Read More ›


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    Abstract

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder leading to progressive motor impairment and for which there is no cure. From the first postmortem account describing a lack of mitochondrial complex I in the substantia nigra of PD sufferers, the direct association between mitochondrial dysfunction and death of dopaminergic neurons has ever since been consistently corroborated. In this review, we outline common pathways shared by both sporadic and familial PD that remarkably and consistently converge at the level of mitochondrial... Read More ›


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    Abstract

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common motor neurodegenerative disorder with multifactorial etiology that is an increasing burden on our aging society. PD is characterized by nigrostriatal degeneration which might involve oxidative stress, ’-synuclein (’S) aggregation, dysregulation of redox metal homeostasis and neurotoxicity. Although the exact cause remains unknown, both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated. Among the various environmental factors tea consumption has attracted increasing interest, as besides being... Read More ›