Resting hand, arm, foot or leg tremor, slowness of movements, or rigidity postural instability are the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease… Why do these symptoms occur? Are there other symptoms? Is it possible to slow down the evolution of the disease? Answering such questions and supporting research conducted in the field is crucial.

The team “Early stages of Parkinson’s disease” is interested in the first modifications observed at the onset of this disorder. Some are at the origin or contribute to the mechanisms leading to the death of neuronal cells of a tiny brain region. These cells produce the dopamine that controls voluntary movements. The identification of these first modifications should enable us understanding how the disease develops and evolves. This will also help us diagnose it more easily, at earlier stages and better treat it.

The origin of the disease is multifactorial and only a limited number of causes has been identified. Thanks to the participation of patients and control subjects providing us with biological samples (blood, urine, skin, cerebrospinal fluid), we identified genetic and environmental factors that may trigger the disease. We developed experimental models and established a map of early cell disturbances. We are now seeking to better understand and to modulate these disturbances in order to delay the onset of the disease. Our work also aims at defining the deregulations that could enable a quicker and earlier diagnosis.

For more information, see the scientific project.