Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson's patients

Date:
August 23, 2011
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have for the first time generated stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson's disease. The development will help research into the condition as it will enable scientists to model the disease in the laboratory to shed light on why certain nerve cells die.

Scientists have for the first time generated stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson's disease.

Related Articles


The development will help research into the condition as it will enable scientists to model the disease in the laboratory to shed light on why certain nerve cells die.

Scientists, funded with a 300,000 grant from the charity Parkinson's UK, took skin samples from a patient diagnosed with one of the most progressive types of Parkinson's.

The research, led by the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with UCL (University College London), then used these skin cells to generate brain nerve cells affected by the disease.

The ability to generate these nerve cells will make it easier to monitor the effectiveness of potential new drugs that could slow or halt progress of the condition.

The aim would be to find drugs that can prevent the death of these key cells -- known as neurons -- which break down as a result of Parkinson's.

Dr Tilo Kunath, of the University of Edinburgh's Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, said: "Current drugs for Parkinson's alleviate symptoms of the condition. Modelling the disease in a dish with real Parkinson's neurons enables us to test drugs that may halt or reverse the condition.

"This study provides an ideal platform to gain fresh insight into the condition, and opens a new area of research to discover disease-modifying drugs."

The neuron cells were generated from a patient with a form of Parkinson's that progresses rapidly and can be diagnosed in people in their early 30s.

People with this form of Parkinson's have twice as many of the genes that produce a protein -- alpha synuclein -- compared with the general population.

Although this form of Parkinson's is rare the protein involved is linked to virtually all types of the disease.

Dr Michael Devine, of the UCL Institute of Neurology said, "Understanding such a progressive form of the disease will give us insight into different types of Parkinson's. As this type of Parkinson's progresses rapidly it will also make it easier to pick up the effects of drugs tested to prevent nerve cells targeted by the disease from dying."

The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development at Parkinson's UK, said: "Although the genetic mutation that leads to this progressive form of Parkinson's is rare this exciting study has the potential to bring about a huge breakthrough in Parkinson's research.

"This is just the kind of innovative research that Parkinson's UK is committed to funding as we move closer to a cure."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Devine, Mina Ryten, Petr Vodicka, Alison J. Thomson, Tom Burdon, Henry Houlden, Fatima Cavaleri, Masumi Nagano, Nicola J. Drummond, Jan-Willem Taanman, Anthony H. Schapira, Katrina Gwinn, John Hardy, Patrick A. Lewis, Tilo Kunath. Parkinson's disease induced pluripotent stem cells with triplication of the α-synuclein locus. Nature Communications, 2011; 2: 440 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1453

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson's patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823115157.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2011, August 23). Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson's patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823115157.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson's patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823115157.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins