Parkinson Disease

  • Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system.
  • It damages nerve cells in the brain dropping the levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that sends behavioral signals from the brain to the body.
  • The disease causes a variety of “motor” symptoms (symptoms related to movement of the muscles), including rigidity, delayed movement, poor balance, and tremors.
  • Medication can help control the symptoms of the disease but it can’t be cured.
  • It affects the age group from 6 to 60 years.


  • An aggregation of a protein called Alpha-synuclein (ASyn) plays a crucial role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Protein aggregation is a biological phenomenon in which destabilized proteins aggregate (i.e., accumulate and clump together) leading to many diseases.
  • Alpha-synuclein is a protein found in the human brain, while smaller amounts are found in the heart, muscle and other tissues.
  • In the brain, alpha-synuclein is found mainly at the tips of neurons in specialized structures called presynaptic terminals.
  • Presynaptic terminals release chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters.
  • The release of neurotransmitters relays signals between neurons and is critical for normal brain function.
  • Until now, worldwide studies could not establish any strong relation between ASyn aggregations and subsequent death of neuronal cells observed in Parkinson’s disease.

Z-Scan Method

  • Recently, scientists from IIT (Indian School of Mines) Dhanbad and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (Kolkata) have developed the Z-scan method to monitor the origin as well as the progression of Parkinson’s disease in human beings.
  • The discovered Z-scan method is expected to help in monitoring both the early as well as late stages of the aggregation of ASyn and death of neuronal cells.

CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology

  • Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) was established in 1935 as the first non-official center in India for biomedical research and was included within the aegis of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1956.
  • It is located in Kolkata (West Bengal).
  • CSIR-IICB is engaged in research on diseases of national importance and biological problems of global interest and also helps to maintain momentum in life science research.
  • It conducts research in a variety of areas including chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, neurobiology and immunology which promotes productive interdisciplinary interaction.

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