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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have made significant progress in the search for new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. By manipulating the gene expression of non-neuronal cells in the brain, they were able to produce new dopamine neurons. The study, performed on mice and human cells, is published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.

By reprogramming cells in the brain the scientists were able to revert motor symptoms in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease and reproduce the cellular function and responses in human brain cells in the laboratory. The key to this discovery lies in the conversion of brain cells into a subset of nerve cells called dopamine neurons.

Dopamine neurons degenerate and die in the brains of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The research team showed that they can convert non-neuronal so called glial cells in the brains of mice into new dopamine neurons, in essence, creating new neurons.

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Conversion of brain cells offers hope for Parkinson’s patientsDopamine neurons degenerate and die in the brains of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Credit: iStock

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Click link below for article:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-conversion-brain-cells-parkinson-patients.html

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