The PINK1 gene carries the instructions your cells need to make a mitochondrial protein called PTEN induced putative kinase 1. This protein helps protect mitochondria from damage and helps keep that damage from replicating when cells reproduce.

“Damage to cells can lead to damaged neurons. Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions can be caused by damaged neurons.”

“The PINK1 gene is associated with Parkinson’s disease. The discovery of the gene that can lead to Parkinson’s and the pathogenic mutations that can lead to Parkinson’s are some of the discoveries that are driving the research and testing of new Parkinson’s treatment options.”

“The PINK1 gene may contribute to Parkinson’s.”

The instructions for making a PTEN-inducing kinase 1 are contained in the PINK1 gene. The cells have a piece of the human body in their nucleus. Your cells use Mitochondria to produce energy.

You have the most cells with the PTEN inducing kinase 1 in your body.

“Scientists don’t fully understand the function of the PTEN, but they believe it protects your mitochondria when your cells are stressed They believe that a loss of protection could be caused by a change to the PINK1 gene.”

Mutations on the PINK1 gene are rare, but they’re genetic and may contribute to early onset Parkinson’s disease.

“There is a connection between the PINK1 gene and Parkinson’s.”

Researchers are looking into how the PTEN protein works in the mitochondria of the cells. The mitochondria in the brain are thought to work correctly if PINK1 and PARKIN are combined.

Quality control appears to be done by PINK1 and PARKIN. They send signals that allow cells to destroy damaged mitochondria.

When this doesn’t happen, damaged mitochondria can reproduce, and unhealthy cell function can continue to occur. As a result, mitochondria in these regions don’t produce energy correctly. This is known to lead to Parkinson’s and other brain function conditions.

“There are more than 50 known PINK1 genes that can cause Parkinson’s.”

Pathogenic mutations on the PINK1 gene are associated with early-onset Parkinson’s. People who inherit this gene mutation are more likely to develop Parkinson’s before age 45 than people without genetic forms of Parkinson’s.

PINK1 mutations can be passed down in families. About 1 to 8 percent of all people with familial, or early onset, Parkinson’s have a mutation on the PINK1 gene.

“The discovery of the PINK1 gene is leading to new approaches for treating Parkinson’s. There are several medications in development that aim to target the PINK1/PARKIN pathway and the Mitochondrial Disorders that lead to Parkinson’s.”

Targeted medications

It is not known what the most effective targeted medications will be.

“Researchers are trying to find the right place in the energy process to target and develop drugs that will not cause side effects for people with Parkinson’s.”

Gene-edited cell therapy treatment

Researchers have been studying gene therapies for Parkinson’s in clinical trials since the 2000s.

“The FDA approved the first-ever gene-edited cell therapy treatment for Parkinson’s in 2021. Stem cells calledMSK-DA01) will be used in the trial to test their safety.”

“There are studies being done to see if using gene therapy can help people with Parkinson’s.”

New treatments to come

of these new treatments are available yet, but discoveries like the PINK1 gene have led to the development of many treatments that might be options in the very near future.

Researchers today understand more about Parkinson’s than ever before, and it’s likely that new therapeutic approaches will follow this new knowledge. The standards for Parkinson’s treatment might look very different 10 years from now than the standards we have today.

The PINK1 gene is a part of the body that tells it how to make a cell. Researchers believe that when this is not built correctly, the cells in your heart, muscles, and testicles are at risk of being damaged.

“Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions can be caused by the energy from correctly working mitochondria. The PINK1 gene is associated with Parkinson’s disease.”

Researchers have found over 50 possible pathogenic mutations on this gene. There are families with PINK1 genes.

“Medical researchers are using discoveries like the PINK1 mutation to find new treatments for Parkinson’s.”