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PhD-dissertation on Parkinson's disease successfully defended

Nanna Møller Jensen form Poul Henning Jensen Lab was awarded a PhD-title after defending her thesis titled "Investigating markers of inclusion and non-inclusion alpha-synuclein aggregate pathology in Parkinson's Disease and related disorders".

Nanna Møller Jensen, supervisor and team of opponents
From the left: Peter Bross, Liisa Myllykangas, Nanna Møller Jensen, George Tofaris and Poul Henning Jensen. Photo: Rikke Lindhard, DANDRITE

In this PhD project, Nanna and colleagues developed a novel alpha-synuclein proximity ligation assay to detect such small aggregates in cell models and post-mortem human tissue sections. They compared the results from their new assay with traditional immunohistochemistry to detect Lewy bodies and show that our assay detects more pathology at much earlier timepoints in disease. They also demonstrate that a genetic variant of Parkinson's disease without Lewy bodies - a curiosity currently left unexplained - does contain the smaller types of aggregates, pointing to a common disease mechanism. Lastly, they investigated the temporal development of phosphorylation at serine-129 of alpha-synuclein, a common disease marker, and examined the potential of its inhibition as a treatment target.