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Parkinson's Disease and Calcium Channels
Transcript of Parkinson's Disease and Calcium Channels
The exact cause of Parkinson's has yet to be discovered, but the cause of the symptoms is known.
Loss of dopaminergic cells, responsible for releasing dopamine, in a part of the brain called the the substantia nigra due to an imbalance of calcium.
Dopamine - movement, cognition, emotional response, pleasure
Cell Signaling Pathway
1. Glutamate binds to the NMDA Receptor or AMPA Receptor.
2. This triggers GTP to displace GDP and bind to the alpha subunit of the G protein and then isolate the alpha subunit from the beta and gamma subunits.
3. The alpha subunit then binds to the calcium channel and triggers it to open.
4. Calcium ions flow into the cell, then bind with calmodulin.
Researchers continue to examine the link between excess calcium and PD. To explore the hypothesis that calcium levels are linked to PD, the circulation of calcium ion channels in the human brain have been examined in PD and non-PD brains. Some research has found that one type of calcium channel is more prevalent with PD patients, and blockers and therapies to target this and other types of PD channels are being developed to slow the diseases progression. Drugs that can potentially block these channels, such as isradipine, are being investigated.
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Loss of muscle function/coordination
Rigidity of muscles
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Calcium Channel, voltage-dependent, L Type, alpha 1D subunit (CACNA1D)
A type of calcium channel found in neurons
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n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2013.
1. NMDA or kainic acid (excitotoxins) bind to the NMDA or AMPA Receptor and causes an influx of calcium ions into the cell.
2. This influx activates enzymes such as phospholipases, endonucleases, and proteases such as calpain.
3. These enzymes work to destroy organelles (mitochondria), essentially killing the neurons.
4. This results in the decrease of dopamine released from the cells.