19 October 2022

Parkinsonism and gender

The epigenetics of Parkinson's disease turned out to be different for men and women

Svetlana Maslova, Hi-tech+

This discovery allows us to take a different look at the very beginning of Parkinson's disease in order to find target genes and ways to develop new treatments, which, as it now becomes clear, may differ between patients of different genders.

Parkinson's disease refers to incurable neurodegenerative diseases, which is characterized by the death of dopamine neurons. Scientists already have some idea about the role of genetics and epigenetics in this process, but they are still poorly understood. It is believed that about 10% of cases of Parkinson's disease are completely explained by genetics, and the rest are a combination of genes, age and environmental factors.

Now a team from Rutgers University is presenting new data on the effect of epigenetics on the disease. Epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for turning certain genes on and off. According to new data, the epigenetics of Parkinson's disease turned out to be different for men and women, writes Medical Express.

Scientists analyzed brain tissue samples from 50 people who died from Parkinson's disease and compared them with tissue samples from the control group. More than 200 genes with different epigenetic labels were found, which were almost completely different in men and women.

Some of the genes have already been studied in earlier studies, others have turned out to be completely new. "These data open up many new opportunities for further study of genes and pathways associated with Parkinson's disease," commented the author of the work Alison Bernstein. Scientists hope that some of them will become potential target genes for new drugs.

Article by Kochmanski et al. Parkinson's disease-associated, sex-specific changes in DNA methylation at PARK7 (DJ-1), SLC17A6 (VGLUT2), PTPRN2 (IA-2β), and NR4A2 (NURR1) in cortical neurons are published in npj Parkinson's Disease – VM.

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