Faculty Lecture will address Parkinson’s disease protein

(04-16-2014)

aaron moehlig

In ancient India "Kampavata," described by Galen in AD 175 as, "a shaking palsy" and finally recognized as a distinct medical disorder after "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy," was published by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817; Parkinson's disease (PD) has been disrupting human motor control for thousands of years. The Adams State University Faculty Lecture, "Alpha-Synuclein: The Parkinson's disease Protein," by Dr. Aaron Moehlig, assistant professor of chemistry, begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Porter Hall 130.

Caused by the degradation of dopamingeric neurons located in the basal ganglia and substantia nigra, Parkinson's disease affects over 500,000 people in the United States with 50,000 new cases reported each year. There is no universally accepted theory as to the pathogenesis of this disease, but a cause and effect relationship between the neuronal protein α-synuclein and PD was established in 2000. Aggregates (also known as fibrils or Lewy Bodies) of α-synuclein have been discovered in diseased brains at a much higher rate than those without PD, although no definite relationship between aggregates and PD has been established.

This presentation will describe the history and current treatments of the disease as well as some of the ongoing investigations into the role α-synuclein plays in disease progression.

All talks are free and the public is invited. Complimentary light refreshments will be offered. For more information on the series of lectures, contact Dr. Kristy Duran, assistant professor of biology, at 719-587-7767, or klduran@adams.edu.