By Clare Wilson writing for New Scientist
From the article,
The subtype of brain cells that die in Parkinson’s disease has been discovered using a new technique that can identify which genes are active in individual cells. We have known for decades that Parkinson’s disease, a progressive condition that results in the development of tremors and difficulties in moving, is linked with the gradual death of cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The cells concerned make a signalling chemical called dopamine, involved in controlling movement – but their exact identity was unclear. Medicines for Parkinson’s disease boost dopamine in various ways, yet their effects tend to wane over time, so better treatments are needed, says Evan Macosko at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.