Systems of Parkinsons' Disease

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that primarily effects the elderly population. Attempts to define the underlying pathology over the years have failed to find a single apparent cause, but has generated facts on pathogenic factors and resulting pathways. Ageing however remains the most significant of them.

A systems' approach in biology lets one analyse biological phenomena in the wake of mathematical modelling. Such an approach is particularly helpful when the scheme of events involve metabolic networks interacting over varied time-scales. The biochemical events leading to PD bring up similar circumstances. The Systems Biology group at the Hamilton Institute intents to address the situation from an energy perspective, as the cellular machineries that are compromised with age tend to have a basis in energy deficits.

The primary focus of Parkinson's Disease research in Hamilton Institute has been the development of a systems theory for the pathogenesis. I have been concentrating on the molecular aspects that contribute to the pathology. Calcium handling seems to have a major role in the development of PD. Focus has been laid on studying the modulation of calcium ions within the neurons of the Substantia nigra; the degeneration of which becomes critical in establishing the disease.