NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

’Engineered’ Stem Cells May Help Treat Parkinson’s

Thursday December 22, 2005

12/15/05(Forbes) - Engineered human progenitor brain stem cells are able to produce and deliver into the brain a growth factor that shows promise in treating Parkinson’s disease, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A major challenge in treating Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative brain disorders is getting drugs to the desired areas of the brain. The brain’s structure effectively blocks the delivery of most drugs via the bloodstream. The engineered progenitor brain cells are designed to sneak drugs past the blood-brain barrier.

The University of Wisconsin team obtained and grew large numbers of progenitor cells from human fetal brain tissue and engineered those cells to produce the growth factor called glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF).

Some small clinical trials showed that GDNF provide relief from the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, GDNF could not cross the blood-brain barrier and had to be pumped directly into the brains of Parkinson’s patients in order to work.

In this latest study, researchers transplanted the engineered progenitor cells into the brains of rats and monkeys. The cells effectively integrated into the brains of the animals and delivered GDNF to the targeted brain areas.

The findings were published in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Gene Therapy.

"This work shows that stem cells can be used as drug delivery vehicles in the brain," University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist Clive Svendson said in a prepared statement.

Recent News

Aug 15 - Singing Helps Early-stage Parkinson’s Patients Retain Speech, Respiratory Control, Studies Show
Aug 14 - 16 Tips to Increase Your Mobility Confidence While Living With Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 10 - Boxers are fighting back against Parkinson’s
Aug 9 - Parkinson’s Experiment to Be Aboard Next Flight to International Space Station
Aug 7 - The Importance of Oral Health in Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 7 - Researchers Gain Better Insight Into Alpha-Synuclein’s Role in Parkinson’s Disease
Jul 31 - New Digital Cognitive Assessment Tool Receives Positive FDA Review
Jul 20 - Parkinson’s DREAM Challenge Uses Mobile Sensor Data to Monitor Health Based on Movement
Jul 19 - What Young-onset Parkinson’s Can Look Like
Jul 7 - Parkinson’s Patients Have a Higher Risk of Developing Melanoma — and Vice Versa, Study Finds
Jun 27 - The rogue protein behind Parkinson’s disease may also protect your gut
Jun 26 - Do Statins Increase Risk of Parkinson’s Disease? Some Researchers Think So
Jun 22 - A Confused Immune System Could Be Behind Parkinson's Disease
Jun 21 - Predicting cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson’s disease
Jun 20 - Gym offers classes in noncontact boxing for Parkinson’s patients
Jun 19 - Human Limitations Could Prevent Us From Advancing in Science. AI Could Help.
Jun 13 - Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson's
Jun 12 - Smell Test May Sniff Out Oncoming Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Jun 8 - Smartphones Track Motor Function in Parkinson's Disease
Jun 8 - GKC Enrolls First Patient in Personal KinetiGraph Trial as Part of NPF’s Parkinson’s Outcomes Project