Llama Nanobodies May Help Parkinson’s Patients

Llama Nanobodies May Help Parkinson’s Patients

Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent type of neurodegenerative disease, followed by Parkinson’s. The number of adults who have Parkinson’s increases every day. Current treatment focuses on mitigating the symptoms but not on preventing the disease. A new study discovered that llama nanobodies could help shape the treatment for Parkinson’s.

This particular chemical is essential to regulate the cells that control movement. If an individual develops Parkinson’s, the nerve cells in the brain responsible for movement control cease to function or die. In fact, the nerve cells terminate the production of dopamine. However, the reason why the cells die remains unidentified.

It is not simple to diagnose Parkinson’s since there is no particular laboratory test. Therefore, the diagnosis is generally based upon the patient’s clinical record and evaluation of the patient’s overall health.

Even though there is no evidence that one certain gene could cause Parkinson’s, it is shown that some genes, such as the protein LRRK2, could be involved. Researchers have uncovered that LRRK2 can be targeted by nanobodies, which prevent the protein’s function. Nevertheless, while some nanobodies can stop specific protein activities, they leave others to proceed. In the past, researchers were only able to turn LRRK2 on or off. But the findings of this study could precisely modulate the activities of this protein.

Nanobody molecules are types of small, engineered antibody fragments produced by llamas and camels. They differ from the antibodies in humans since they’re smaller and less complicated. They can be generated in laboratories and are less expensive to grow in line with that. The researchers produced 168 families of antibodies that came from llamas.

These recent nanobody modulators are not intended to be used in humans, only to support the identifying of a new medication that would function in the same way. Still, more research is needed to find a better treatment for Parkinson’s. One possible way to accomplish that is by correcting the genetic problems, although this type of therapy is costly. However, the scientists believe they will have a window of opportunity to investigate this issue further.

Photo by Gibbon FitzGibbon on Unsplash

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