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Neurodegeneration
This group encompasses a range of researchers and differing approaches to address this broad and important area. Neurodegenerative disease are common (eg Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) and currently nearly always incurable. To understand these disorders better it is necessary to adopt a range of scientific techniques. We continue to define and identify novel genes and mutations causing neurodegenerative disease. These discoveries lead to exciting new avenues of research which are best addressed in multi-dimensional way. We use a range of pathological tools, the Brain Bank, Reta Lila Weston Institute and Sara Koe Research Centre. These allow us to make important new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Although we are principally focussed on parkinsonism and related disorders the research often has broad reaching messages. Our work is perhaps best illustrated by our investigations into parkinsonism. We combine approaches from families and case-control studies in patients with parkinsonism to identify genetic factors underlying these disorders. We use tissue from the brain bank to further understand the molecular pathology. The role of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function is being evaluated and we use cell culture models to illuminate and evaluate novel disease processes. All of these investigations are driven by the clinical necessity to understand and develop more rational therapies for these incurable diseases.
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