Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Koen Klemann (Donders sereis 285)

3 November 2017

Promotoren: prof. dr. G. Martens, prof. dr. B. Bloem
Copromotoren: dr. J. Visser, dr. G. Poelmans

A molecular window into Parkinson's disease

Although it has been known for decades that Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of a specific group of brain cells, the molecular mechanisms that cause this cell death are still largely unknown. This lack of knowledge hampers the development of new treatments that stops or slows down the progression of the disease. In this thesis, large (genetic) data sets have been incorporated into so-called ‘molecular landscapes’ that show all possible interactions between molecules involved in Parkinson’s disease. In this way, we provide, for the first time, a complete overview of the molecular disease mechanisms and demonstrate that lipids play an important role. In addition, this thesis shows that physical exercise can affect molecular processes in the brain that are also regulated by levodopa, a widely used drug to treat, with varying degrees of success, Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The insights presented in this thesis may serve as a starting point for future drug research and, as such, bring the development of new disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson's disease a step closer.