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Image: Mattias Pettersson

Laboratory of Neurodegeneration and Repair

Research group Parkinson’s disease - etiology, neuroprotection and symptomatology

Exploring the disease mechanisms in neurodegeneration

Our research focuses on neurodegenerative disorders with a special interest in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, affecting around 1 % of the population over 60 years of age.

The primary causes and origin of Parkinson’s disease are to date unknown and symptoms of the disease are first detectable at advanced stages of neurodegeneration, thus preventing early diagnose. Our research focuses on underlying neurodegenerative mechanisms for better understanding of the disease etiology and on finding early biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. We also investigate possible ways and treatments to counteract neurodegeneration and hinder disease progression.

The research questions are addressed by applying different methods and laboratory techniques on model systems of neurodegeneration. The main focus lies on in vivo approaches such as voltammetry and PET/CT and MRI.

Head of research

Sara af Bjerkén
Assistant professor, resident physician, research fellow
Ana Virel
Associate professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Medical and Translational Biology, Faculty of Medicine

Research area

Molecular medicine, Neurosciences
Latest update: 2022-03-28