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Investigating the Relationship Between GCase Activity and Pathology in Parkinson's Disease

  • Friday, October 8, 2021
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM

Join the students of BIO295 ("Biology Seminar") as we welcome speakers from a variety of locations with a great array of experiences to our campus. Join us as we learn about their unique backgrounds and work within the field of Biology.

"Investigating the Relationship Between GCase Activity and Pathology in Parkinson's Disease"

Guest Speaker: Brenna Beezhold- Student, Calvin University

Friday, Oct. 8th, 2021

1:30p - 2:20p

*Science Building (SB) 010 

Among the most common genetic risks for Parkinson’s disease (PD) are variants in genes coding for glucocerebrosidase (GCase) and leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2). Both proteins have been implicated in lysosomal homeostasis and lipid metabolism, but the relationship between lipid levels, lysosomal enzyme activity, and neuropathology has not been investigated. In the present study, we quantitatively assessed all major protein pathologies (α-synuclein, tau, amyloid β, and TDP-43) in 94 brains of GBA1 variant carriers, LRRK2 mutation carriers, idiopathic PD cases, and non-neurologically impaired controls. Future studies will compare quantitative neuropathology to lipid levels and enzymatic activity from the same tissue. These studies will provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between genotype, neuropathology, enzyme activity and lipid levels, and provide information regarding potential therapeutic targets for PD.

Any questions? Please contact Erika Purcell-Williams ( for further assistance

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