Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's PhD students Hemalatha Sasidharakurup and Nidheesh Melethadathil, along with, Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean, School of Biotechnology, Amritapuri, and Dr. Shyam Diwakar, Director, Computational Neuroscience and Neurophysiology, Amritapuri, published a paper titled, "A Systems Model of Parkinson's Disease Using Biochemical Systems Theory" in OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, in the month of August 2017.
The research paper connects experimental data related to dopaminergic cell death from several molecular levels to conditions attributed to Parkinson's disease using a mathematical method called biochemical systems theory.Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease or a disease in the central nervous system that primarily affects motor nerves. It manifests itself with rigidity, shaking and a general slowing of movement. Various individual observations usually lead to hypotheses used for diagnosis and therapy in biomedical and clinical research such as in the story of Parkinson's disease or PD. Parkinson's disease is related to a condition often seen when dopamine producing neurons (brain cells) slowly start dying. For brain diseases, connecting molecular levels to brain functions is not direct or easy, as it involves several types of experiments at various levels. If hospital clinicians need to use laboratory experiments to study onset or progression of a disease, it is important these levels of studies are connected.
Dr. Shyam Diwakar adds, "Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and several other neurological conditions may not have solutions yet but to connect to solutions, it is pertinent for experimental scientists at various levels to work with computer-based modeling and with clinicians. Experiments from subcellular components such as ion channels and protein concentrations help associate to cellular function and need to translate then to circuit activity and then eventually to behavior and cognition. It is quite complex for a single laboratory or an individual to characterize the cellular signalling that happens. Only translational studies that connect multiple levels of research could help targeting new drugs and to a better understanding of the neurological disease. Our work is a beginning in that direction and we plan to use the data from labs to connect to circuit disorder using large-scale brain models".
Listed as a high impact paper by the publisher, the PD paper is freely available online until September 9, 2017.