A Norwegian study shows that impairment in mitochondria may actually protect the brain in Parkinson’s disease.
A new study from the University of Bergen (UiB), in Norway, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, shows that the function of mitochondria, the microscopic powerhouses of the cell, is altered throughout the entire brain of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Ominous as this may sound, it might actually not be deleterious for patients.
“This new study shows that complex I deficiency is, in fact, a global phenomenon in the brain of persons with Parkinson’s disease, and is found indiscriminately in both affected and healthy brain regions. Intriguingly, brain cells (neurons) with decreased complex I levels are significantly less likely to contain Lewy bodies, the abnormal protein-aggregates that characterize Parkinson’s disease,” says researcher Charalampos Tzoulis at Department of Clinical Science, UiB.
These discoveries suggest that, contrary to mainstream theory, mitochondrial complex I deficiency may not be entirely deleterious for the brain in Parkinson’s disease.