For Part 2: http://dialoguewithdisability.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/gretchen-amphlet-parkinsons-uk-lecture_24.html
For Part 3 - http://dialoguewithdisability.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/gretchen-amphlet-parkinsons-uk-lecture_25.html
Conclusion – prospects for treatment
Identifying mutations is a crucial first step toward new treatments for Parkinson’s. Understanding which genes are mutated in sufferers and how the protein is affected leads to understanding how the function of the cell is disrupted. Once this is known, drugs can be potentially designed to counteract the affect of the mutant protein and prevent nerve cells dieing. This could introduce the idea of “personalized medicine”; a specific mutation is treated with a specific drug. Another possibility is that a group of related diseases (e.g. neurodegenerative), although caused by mutations in different genes, affect the same function of nerve cells. Therefore, drugs can be designed to affect the specific cellular process more generally and not the mutated protein itself.
These approaches are dependent on understanding the genetics of Parkinson’s; it is crucial that such research is supported.