Parkinson’s is a complicated neurological disorder that researchers are continuously working to understand. However, a lack of dopamine—a neurotransmitter responsible for our ability to control the way our bodies move (among many other things)—is widely recognized as a cause.
Recently, a team of researchers based in Israel evaluated whether certain proteins, known as bone morphogenetic proteins 5 and 7 (BMP5/7), could protect dopamine-producing neurons in the brains of mice from damage caused by the misfolded alpha-synuclein protein, another major player in the cause of Parkinson’s disease.
The researchers found that not only did BMP5/7 reverse the alpha-synuclein-induced loss of dopamine-producing neurons, but it also reduced the accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the brain and prevented motor impairment in the study mice. The authors conclude that BMPs are a promising option in the development of disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s, an area of significant unmet need.