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Role of αsynuclein in cognitive dysfunction: Studies in Drosophila¬†melanogaster

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αSynuclein (αSyn) is hypothesized to have a critical role in sporadic and genetic cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) in which Lewy bodies, as the hallmark of PD, are formed from abnormal aggregates of αSyn. To determine the role of αSyn in the motor and cognitive dysfunction observed in PD, a Drosophila¬†melanogaster model was established to investigate the electrophysiological and ethological changes caused by overexpression of αSyn. The present data indicated that αSyn overexpression reduced the synaptic transmission of cholinergic neurons by modulating the calcium channel currents in the projection neurons in the antennal lobe region of the Drosophila brain, as well as the learning and memory ability of the flies. However, the locomotor ability of the Drosophila remained unaffected. The present findings suggested that αSyn may be associated with senile dementia in patients with PD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, P.R. China 2: Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Zhongshan Medical School of Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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