Home » News » New Target for Parkinson’s

New Target for Parkinson’s

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) researchers have discovered a therapeutic target that, when manipulated, may slow the progression of or halt Parkinson’s disease.

A paper on their findings, titled “Repression of a-synuclein expression and toxicity by microRNA-7,” appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

In this publication, the investigators report that the small RNA molecule microRNA-7, which is present in neurons, directly represses the expression of a-synuclein, a protein that, in excess, proves deleterious to certain types of brain cells.

M. Maral Mouradian, M.D., center director the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology, carried out the study.
“Individuals who have multiple copies of the a-synuclein gene come down with Parkinson’s, so inhibitors of a-synuclein expression are attractive therapeutic targets,” explained Mouradian.

“Our manipulation protects neuronal cells from the toxicity that results from increased levels of this protein.”

There is no cure for Parkinson’s and there are no neuroprotective treatments as of yet, making this new strategy to manipulate the molecular underpinnings of the disease a significant discovery, Mouradian added.

Source: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)

New Target for Parkinson’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). New Target for Parkinson’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on All rights reserved.