Parkinson's disease researchers have been expanding their understanding of - and interfering in - processes that involve alpha-synuclein. EurekAlert! here looks at some of the important mechanisms of autophagy in this context: "Alpha-synuclein molecules modified by dopamine bound tightly to the lysosomal membrane, but they got stuck there and weren't effectively transported into the lysosome ... As a result, the alpha-synuclein molecules altered by dopamine were poorly degraded, and the presence of these molecules on the lysosomal membranes interfered with autophagic digestion of other compounds as well. ... We propose that inhibition of autophagy caused by dopamine's alteration of alpha-synuclein could explain the selective death of dopamine-producing nerve cells in Parkinson's disease ... interference with autophagy has also been implicated in other neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's." One thread of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) is devoted to repairing or preventing the failure of the lysosome under load - it is a broad problem that contributes to many age-related conditions.