Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 10:03 AM EDT

Parkinson’s Disease, Possible Treatment By Virus To Reprogram Brain Cells

Apr 19, 2017 07:34 PM EDT

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Reprogramming Brain Cells To Treat Parkinson's Disease
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images) A study describes the possibility of using a lab-grown dopamine to be implanted in the brain for treating Parkinson’s disease

Researchers were able to reprogram human astrocytes and mouse astrocytes into induced dopamine neurons for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Astrocytes are brain cells located in the brain and spinal cord performing many functions as it provides nutrients to nervous tissue and helps in the maintenance of extracellular ion-balance.

Parkinson's disease, according to WebMD, pertains to the lack of important physiologic chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the brain in order to control movement. The goal of the recent study is to reprogram astrocytes to produce dopamine; this would be a great way to cut off the disease when performed successfully.

Digital Trends reported that researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institute describe the possibility of using a lab-grown dopamine to be implanted in the brain for treating Parkinson's disease. The research properly describes the induction of dopamine by reprogramming astrocytes (regular brain cells).

In order to carry out the idea into an experiment, a virus was injected into the brains of the mice. This virus was altered to carry four genes in order to reprogram astrocytes. Observations after five weeks were carried out and successfully the mice have shown improvements in motor movements such as walking. Furthermore, there were no observed unwanted side effects. The findings suggest as a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Further experiments and clinical trials should be conducted in order to properly assess the said treatment approach. Since Parkinson's disease affects adults, the approach should experiment in adult brain cells. This is a great advancement in medical history if proven successful in humans.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans live with Parkinson's disease (PD) compared combined number of some diseases. Every year, an estimated number of 60,000 Americans are being diagnosed with the disease. Worldwide, more than 10 million experiences the disease. Men are more predisposed with PD compared to women.
 

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