Experimental Neurobiology Group
The Experimental Neurobiology Group at the LCSB. From left to right: Egle Danileviciute, Manuel Buttini, Alessandro Michelucci, Carole Sousa, Julia Forster, Paul Antony, Rudi Balling, Wiebke Wemheuer, Feng He, Suresh Poovathingal
About the Experimental Neurobiology Group
Parkinson´s disease (PD) affects about 1-3% of the population over the age of 65 years and is characterized by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, postural instability and gait dysfunction, are the cardinal features of the disease. In addition PD-patients often have a wide range of “non-motor”-symptoms, such as cognitive dysfunctions, psychiatric and gastrointestinal symptoms, hyposmia and sleep abnormalities. A key pathological characteristic is the presence of filamentous, cytoplasmic inclusions, called Lewy-bodies, in affected neurons.The molecular mechanisms leading to PD are not well understood. Aging is one of the main contributing factors, however genetic and environmental factors also play an important role in PD pathogenesis.Researchers at the LCSB try to shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of PD, thereby contributing to the development of new preventive or therapeutic strategies. Research projects involve studies on PD-patients, animal models of PD and cell culture studies of dopaminergic neurons, the cell type most severely affected in Parkinson´s disease patients. A specific range of bioinformatics and systems biology approaches are used to develop a mathematical description and models of PD. This should support our attempts to understand the detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms of PD.
Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling - Director