The presence of a particular protein worsens symptoms of Parkinson disease, report scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease at the University of California, San Francisco (Lerner TN and Kreitzer AC. Neuron. 2012;73:347-359).
The protein, called RGS4 (regulator of G protein signaling 4), normally helps regulate the activity of neurons in the brain's striatum. However, in an experimental model of Parkinson disease, the protein actually contributes to the deterioration of movement and motor coordination.
Hampton T. Parkinson Disease Protein. JAMA. 2012;307(9):904. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.224