Are We Closer to Solving the Mystery?
Although scientists have made progress in the management of Parkinson’s disease and its complications, it is difficult to give a direct answer of how the disease started. Clinicians have discovered rare individuals who have clear inherited genetic mutations, yet is still a struggle to determine how the disease began.
Understanding how Parkinson's progresses may be easier to answer than how it all began. One thought-provoking theory suggests that alpha-synuclein may be responsible for the advancement of PD. The theory is called PRION HYPOTHESIS. Alpha-synuclein, when it spreads throughout the brain, may become damaged in Parkinson’s and bend into an abnormal shape. This damaged appearance creates further injury and death on brain cells. The warped alpha-synuclein protein escapes the brain cells and enter its way to a new healthy cell and wreaks havoc, thereby infecting these healthy cells. In this continuous cycle of the protein slowly proliferating the disease all over the brain, the disease progression and worsening of symptoms occur.