科学家发现可复制的脑细胞,帕金森病有望治愈

【帕金森病有望治愈】帕金森病是一种常见的神经系统变性疾病,在英国约127000人受到影响。由于帕金森患者产生多巴胺的脑细胞死亡,导致震颤和运动困难,且无法治愈,病人不得不忍受运动衰弱的痛苦。而最近研究人员找到了一种方案,或许可以治愈帕金森病。研究人员使用了一种选择小分子复制的脑细胞,它们可以产生控制运动的化学物质多巴胺。在对小白鼠的实验中,帕金森症状得到明显改善。

New hope for a Parkinson's disease cure as scientists find brain cells can be reprogrammed to replicate those lost

  • A selection of small molecules can make brain cells produce the chemical messenger dopamine, which is lost in Parkinson's sufferers, causing tremors
  • When the therapy was given to mice, their Parkinson-like symptoms improved  
  • The treatment may overtake cell transplants, which were previously thought to be the only hope of a cure and require immune system-suppressing drugs 

 

Parkinson's disease affects around 127,000 people in the UK.

As the condition has no cure, sufferers are forced to endure the debilitating movement disorder.

Yet, scientists may be one step closer to finding a solution.

Researchers used a selection of small molecules to reprogramme brain cells so that they produced the chemical messenger dopamine, which regulates movement.

In Parkinson sufferers, dopamine-producing brain cells have died, causing tremors and moving difficulties.

Parkinson Disease occurs as the cells that produce the chemical messenger dopamine have died, causing tremors. The new treatment may reprogramme brain cells to make dopamine

Parkinson Disease occurs as the cells that produce the chemical messenger dopamine have died, causing tremors. The new treatment may reprogramme brain cells to make dopamine

WHAT IS PARKINSON'S DISEASE?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disease.

It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.

Other symptoms include slowed movement and rigid muscles.

Scientist suspect a mix of genetic and environmental factors are responsible.

It has no cure with treatment focusing on controlling symptoms.

Source: NHS Choices and Parkinson's UK

Swedish scientists tested a cocktail of molecules in mice with Parkinson-like symptoms.

After treatment, the mice's symptoms appeared to improve.

The revolutionary approach may overtake brain cell transplants, which was previously thought to be the only hope of a cure.

According to study author Dr Ernest Arenas, this new treatment will not require the immune system-suppressing drugs needed in transplants.

The therapy makes dopamine-producing cells from those already in the brain, meaning patients will not reject them, which is a risk with transplants, he said.

Although the potential cure could transform Parkinson's treatment, scientists warn further animal studies are needed before the approach can be tried in humans.

Professor David Dexter, deputy director, Parkinson's UK said: 'Further development of this technique is now needed,' the BBC reported.

'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.'

This comes after scientists from the University of Oxford found infection with hepatitis B and C viruses raises the risk of Parkinson's by up to 76 per cent.

This is thought to be due to the viruses targeting the motor system once they leave the liver.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4405122/Scientists-closer-finding-Parkinson-s-cure.html#ixzz4e9JW6vKL
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