Support groundbreaking research into Parkinson's and the gut

Help us get closer to life-changing breakthroughs for people with Parkinson’s, by donating to Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini’s pioneering research.

Could Parkinson's start in the gut?

Investigating alpha-synuclein is an important area of Parkinson’s research. We know toxic clumps of this protein (called Lewy bodies) can stick together in the guts of people with the condition. 

These clumps can then travel to the brain, causing damage to dopamine-producing brain cells, which in turn may lead to movement symptoms of Parkinson's. Now Professor Spillantini and her team are exploring this further. 

Watch the video to find out more about this promising research.

Alpha-synuclein and Lewy body research

In 2018, Parkinson’s UK supporters like you funded Professor Spillantini’s previous research. She found a way to break down Lewy bodies in mouse models using a drug called anle138b. This boosted dopamine production. Excitingly, this drug is now in clinical trials in people with Parkinson’s. This wouldn’t have been possible without your donations.

Now, Professor Spillantini and her team are exploring how Lewy bodies form in the gut. Over 3 years, they will study mouse models of the condition which have been modified to produce alpha-synuclein in their gut. This has never been done before. For the first time, we’ll be able to see how the clumps form and how they travel to the brain. 

If we can understand this, we might be able to stop these clumps forming before motor symptoms develop.

Will you donate to Professor Spillantini's promising study today?

£45 could pay for 3 glass slides used for tissue staining, to visualise alpha-synuclein. 

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How can I help?

Professor Spillantini’s pioneering research, if successful, could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment, before motor symptoms develop.

Will you give a gift today? The cost of living crisis has had a huge impact on many people. We completely appreciate that you may not be able to give as much as usual, or not at all. Anything you do give will make a difference.

We’ve come so far together. Let’s keep going.