Scientists from Karolinska Institutet have made significant progress in the search for new treatments for Parkinson’s disease and belive to have found a way to treat and perhaps reverse Parkinson’s disease.
Tests in mice with Parkinson-like symptoms showed that by reprogramming cells in the brain the scientists were able to revert motor symptoms and the therapy appeared to ease the condition.
According to their research human brain cells can take over the cells that are destroyed in Parkinson’s and therefore not doig their job anumore.
However even if the research is hugely promising many more studies are needed before tests can begin in people, as it still needed to check if the treatment is safe, and whether the converted cells can truly function like the dopamine-producing neurons lost in Parkinson’s.
In this new approach the rsearchers didn’t look for cell transplant but instead they used a cocktail of small molecules to reprogramme cells already present in the brain.
Mixing a sample of human astrocytes with this cocktail of small molecules they managed to produced cells that closely resembled dopamine neurons, although they are not a perfect match.
When the mix has been given to sick mice, the treatment appeared to work, reprogramming their brain cells and lessening their Parkinson’s symptoms.
Prof David Dexter of Parkinson’s UK said: “If successful, it would turn this approach into a viable therapy that could improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and, ultimately, lead to the cure that millions are waiting for.”