Parkinson's Disease Progression and Transmission
Discovering disease processes
The McLean lab studies disease-associated molecular changes using animal models.
Researchers and others have recently described alpha-synuclein as being a protein that is also found outside of cells. Although traditionally alpha-synuclein was thought to exert its detrimental effects inside cells, researchers now know that alpha-synuclein can be secreted from cells and transmitted to neighboring cells. These findings have precipitated new hypotheses in Parkinson's disease and Lewy body disease research, suggesting that alpha-synuclein transmission from cell to cell may be responsible for the progression of the disease to different areas of the brain. Researchers at the lab are eagerly pursuing this line of study.