Neurodegenerative Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide.Neurodegenerative diseases are caused, in part, by the death of neurons and the homeostasis of glia and are associated with aging. Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are three of the major neurodegenerative diseases.


Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. It is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss and possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.

In Alzheimer's disease, several protein aggregates are associated with disease progression including intracellular beta-amyloid aggregates, extracellular beta-amyloid plaques, and intraneuronal tau-neurofibrillary tangles. Intracellular beta-amyloid aggregates are linked to degeneration and neuronal death, while extracellular beta-amyloid plaques lead to loss of microglia and senescence of stem and progenitor cells. Additionally, beta-amyloid plaques promote the formation of tau-neurofibrillary tangles, resulting in inflammation, oxidative stress, and microvascular pathology.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The resulting dopamine deficiency in the basal ganglia leads to a movement disorder that is characterized by classical parkinsonian motor symptoms. Parkinson's disease is recognized as the most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease. The exact etiology of PD is still unknown, but studies demonstrate that the disease is likely to be multifactorial and may involve an interplay of both genetic and environmental factors. The environmental factors that have been implicated in the disease susceptibility of PD include heavy metals that can attribute to oxidative stress and neurotransmission disruption, pesticides like 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) which target the substantia nigra, caffeine intake, smoking, extensive physical activity, and several others.


Mutations in several genes, including PRKN, PINK1, LRRK2, PARK7, SNCA and GBA, are linked to the development of PD. In rare cases of early-onset familial PD, mutations in a single gene are sufficient to drive pathology, with LRRK2 mutations being the most common cause of hereditary PD. Both genetic and environmental etiologies share a common pathogenic pathway. Extensive research on these causative proteins and mutants is required to completely understand the pathophysiology of PD. Antibodies are an essential tool for Parkinson’s disease protein research because of their high-affinity binding and specificity. Zen-Bioscience provides validated antibodies to study proteins involved in autosomal dominant and recessive Parkinson’s disease.

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