Scientists Reprogram Brain Cells to Treat Parkinson’ s

Scientists within Europe have developed a new method of reprogramming brain cells to deal with Parkinson’ s disease. The experiments were conducted within mice to see if some of the movement disorders that define Parkinson’ s could be corrected.

Parkinson’ s Disease: An Overview

Parkinson’ s disease is the result of neurons (brain cells) malfunctioning and dying, thus failing to create an essential chemical called dopamine which is responsible for sending indicators related to movement and coordination. As the disease progresses, the particular reduced amount of dopamine in the brain lead to uncontrolled and irregular movements. Parkinson’ s is a progressive disease and signs and symptoms continue to worsen over time. Medication and surgery can help handle symptoms, but there is no cure. An estimated 1 million People in america are living with Parkinson’ s.

Brain Cell Reprogramming to Treat Parkinson’ s

The pioneering study on the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm involved reprogramming mouse human brain cells and inducing them to produce dopamine. Similar reprogramming has also been achieved in human brain cells in the laboratory.

Brain cells known as astrocytes, in both mice and human cultures, were converted into dopamine-producing cells. As mentioned, dopamine is a neurotransmitter chemical that is essential for coordinated movement. If this can be replicated in the human body, it will help replace the dead and destroyed dopamine-making neurons plus alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’ s.

Mouse models had Parkinson’ s condition induced through the destruction of dopamine-producing neurons. They were after that treated with a viral delivery system which transmitted genetics that reprogrammed astrocytes in the brain to begin producing dopamine.

Parkinson’ s Therapy: What Does The Future Hold?

Much further testing and development is needed before the technique can be used to treat Parkinson’ s in human patients. The research authors are encouraged by initial results. Next, the particular efficiency of the reprogramming process needs to be improved and protection and efficacy need to be demonstrated on human astrocytes. The research represents a more sophisticated version of previous attempts on gene therapy for Parkinson’ s disease. Other tasks in the pipeline include one in San Diego where researchers are trying to get induced pluripotent stem cells to older into dopamine-producing neurons, which can be implanted into the brains associated with patients with Parkinson’ s. Again, results have shown huge promise.

References:
1 . What is Parkinson’ s Disease?
2 . Brain cells reprogrammed to make dopamine, with objective of Parkinson’ s therapy

Mira Swave, MD

Contributor at Regenerative Medicine Now

Mira Swave, M. D. is a specialist in the field of Regenerative Medicine.

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