Words from my Professor: “Interested in the relationship between purinergic signalling and inflammatory neurodegeneration on Parkinson’s disease. So the dopamine neurons are important for the basal ganglia motor system which become degenerated. My lab is interested in why they degenerate in the context of inflammation and how the inflammation in the brain could be causing that. Specifically, we are trying to determine the role of microglia in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Cytokines and many other signals regulate microglia, but purinergic system is often neglected. An interesting thing about ATP is its release by dying neurons or sick neurons in danger, there is often that ATP becomes dysregulated and release in the cellular space and targets purinergic receptors on microglia. That is one of the first signals that really cause the microglia to become active.” Above is what he had said to me, and is just generally interesting in any current research on this topic (papers within the last 10 years, but most recent if possible). This assignment is not marked and can be anywhere from 5-10 pages, it is really up to you.
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