This excerpt taken from the ELN 20-F filed Feb 28, 2008.
Elans Parkinsons Research
Parkinsons disease is believed to be a result of misfolded proteins in the brain. Parkinsons disease is characterized by the accumulation of aggregated alpha-synuclein, or Lewy bodies, in degenerating neurons in particular regions of the brain.
Elans early discovery efforts in Parkinsons disease were guided by our expertise and leadership in Alzheimers disease research. Our scientists have made significant scientific progress to date in identifying unusual modified forms of alpha-synuclein in human Parkinsons disease brain tissue. These unique forms have led us to a series of therapeutic targets that will be a focus of our small and large molecule drug discovery efforts over the next few years.
Our scientists are also studying parkin, a protein found in the brain that has been genetically linked to Parkinsons disease. Parkin may be involved in the elimination of misfolded proteins within neurons. Some familial forms of Parkinsons disease have been linked to mutations in parkin, and we are actively studying the relationship between parkin activity and neurodegeneration. This research is in the drug discovery stage.