Scientists find connection between profuse protein, progression of Parkinson’s

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Researchers might have made a major discovery for patients who have Parkinson’s disease.

A study that National Institutes of Health funded found that mutations that are in a gene that’s called leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2, pronounced “lark two”) might increase the amount of protein that ribosomes produce. Ribosomes are protein-making factories that are located inside cells. An increase of protein leads to cell death.

Scientists say LRRK2 gene mutations are a leading genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease, which affects at least 500,000 people in the United States.

The lead authors of the study, which was published in Cell, believe that blocking ribosomes from making too much protein could lead to future therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, although no specific therapy was mentioned.