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Z-scan Method for Parkinson’s Disease

  • 15 May 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

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.

Parkinson’s 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 behavioural 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. Worldwide, about 10 million people have been affected by this disease.

Key Points

  • Aggregation of ASyn:
    • 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.
  • Use of Z-scan Method:
    • 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.
    • Until now, worldwide studies could not establish any strong relation between ASyn aggregations and subsequent death of neuronal cells observed in Parkinson’s disease.

CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology

  • Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) was established in 1935 as the first non official centre 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.

Source:PIB

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