Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Cure for Parkinson's Disease

A study  focusing on cell programming was recently published. One of the researchers' goals were to find a cure for Parkinson by developing a way of transforming non-neuronal brain cells into dopamine-producing brain cells. People suffering from Parkinson's disease has damaged dopamine-producing cells, thus affecting the transmission of signals accounting for movement and coordination leading to impaired balance. Cell transplantation serves as one of the proposed strategies in curing Parkinson's disease, however, researchers faced difficulties in obtaining fetal tissues. Another researcher focused on cell programming which converts glial cells into dopamine cells. The researchers identified but did not specify the four genes that converted glial cells into cells that resembles the dopamine-producing cells. 

This study brings hope to people suffering from Parkinson's disease. Cell programming - combining the four genes identified by the researchers with transcription factors opens doors to the development of cure to Parkinson's disease; however, one downfall is the difficulty in controlling the transmission of dopamine due to its location in the brain. 

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