Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder, afflicting more than 10 million people worldwide and more than one million Americans. While there is no cure for PD, current therapies focus on treating motor symptoms and fail to reverse, or even address, the underlying neurological damage. In a new study, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have identified a novel role for the regulatory protein Bach1 in PD. Their results, published on Oct. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that levels of Bach1 were increased in postmortem PD-affected brains, and that cells without Bach1 were protected from the damages that accumulate in PD. In collaboration with vTv Therapeutics, they identified a potent inhibitor of Bach1, called HPPE, that protected cells from inflammation and the buildup of toxic oxidative stress when administered either before or after the onset of disease symptoms.