Does Developmental Variability in the Number of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Affect Individual Risk for Sporadic Parkinson's Disease?

Christian U. Von Linstow, Merritt Delano-Taylor, Jeffrey H. Kordower, Patrik Brundin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder that is coupled to both widespread protein aggregation and to loss of substantia nigra dopamine (DA) neurons, resulting in a wide variety of motor and non-motor signs and symptoms. Recent findings suggest that the PD process is triggered several years before there is sufficient degeneration of DA neurons to cause onset of overt motor symptoms. According to this concept, the number of DA neurons present in the substantia nigra at birth could influence the time from the molecular triggering event until the clinical diagnosis with lower number of neurons at birth increasing the risk to develop the disease. Conversely, the risk for diagnosis would be reduced if the number of DA neurons is high at birth. In this commentary, we discuss the genetic and epigenetic factors that might influence the number of nigral DA neurons that each individual is born with and how these may be linked to PD risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cis-regulation
  • dopamine neuron number
  • motor dysfunction
  • neural development
  • Parkinson's disease risk
  • substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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