Inflammation is part of the immune system’s response to damage or infection. It is a very natural process that our bodies undergo when we come into harms way.
Researchers at the University of Queensland, have recently demonstrated something interesting about the inflammation associated with Parkinson’s: by inhibiting a very specific part of the inflammatory process, they can reduce the spread of Parkinson’s associated alpha synuclein pathology in models of PD.
And they have developed a drug – called MCC950 – that specifically targets that component of the inflammation process which they are now seeking to test in clinical trials.
In today’s post, we will discuss what inflammation is, review this new research, and consider what it could all mean for the Parkinson’s community.
Spot the unhealthy cell – exhibiting signs of stress (yellow). Source: Gettyimages
No silly preamble today – this is going to be a very long post, so we’re diving straight in:
When cells in your body are stressed or sick, they begin to release messenger proteins which inform the rest of your body that something is wrong.
When enough cells release these messenger proteins, it can cause inflammation.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system’s response to trouble. It is the body’s way of communicating to the immune system that something is wrong and activating it so that it can help deal with the situation.
By releasing the messenger proteins, injured/sick cells kick off a process that results in multiple types of immune cells entering the troubled area of the body and undertaking very specific tasks.
The inflammatory process. Source: Trainingcor
The strength of the immune response depends on the volume of the signal arising from those released messenger proteins.
And the level of messenger proteins being released partly depends on multi-protein structures called inflammasomes.
What are inflammasomes?
Recently new research has been published that raises the question (again) as to whether there is something wrong with the immune system in Parkinson’s
Researchers from Germany and San Diego (USA) have published data suggesting that a particular type of blood cell may be acting up in Parkinson’s, getting involved with the neurodegenerative process that characterises the condition.
In their report they also found a clinically available treatment – called Secukinumab – that could reduce the effect.
In today’s post, we will look at what lymphocytes are, how they may be playing a role in Parkinson’s, and explain how secukinumab could potentially aid us in the treatment of PD.
Ouch! Source: CT
My 5 year old recently cut her leg, and there was a bit of blood. We patched her up with a plaster, but also took advantage of the moment to learn a little something about how the body works.
Me: Do you know what that red stuff is?
Little monster: It is blood?
Me: That’s right.
Little monster: Papa, where does blood come from?
That was when I got all excited, and pulled out my black board.
This was the answer I gave her: