News ArchivesRead News
Altered cells deliver Parkinson’s therapy to brain
Tuesday December 27, 2005
Dec 27, 2005 (Reuters Health) - Genetically modified nerve ’progenitor’ cells can be used as mini-pumps to deliver nerve growth factor to the brain, a new study in animals shows.
The results suggest such an approach could be used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other brain diseases in humans, Dr. Clive D. Svendsen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues report.
A nerve growth factor called "glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor" (abbreviated to GDNF) has been shown to protect dopamine-producing neurons, which are lost in Parkinson’s disease, Svendsen and his team note in the research journal Gene Therapy.
In fact, it’s safe to infuse GDNF into brain regions of patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to some studies, and it seems effective. However, delivering the drug in this fashion is complex and only reaches a single point in the brain.
In the current study, using rats with symptoms akin to Parkinson’s disease, the researchers investigated the effect of human neural progenitor cells engineered to produce GDNF.
The rats were transplanted with the modified cells, and after two weeks these were seen to have migrated to affected areas and to be secreting enough GDNF to extend the survival of dopamine neurons and promote outgrowth of nerve fibers.
By five weeks post-transplant, the animals showed a "strong trend toward functional improvement," and at eight weeks the cells were still releasing the growth factor.
Tests in elderly monkeys showed the cells survived and continued to release GDNF for three months after transplant. None of the animals in the studies developed brain tumors.
Svendsen and his colleagues conclude that their results "show that combining human progenitor cell therapy with ... gene therapy is a powerful approach to the future treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions."
Recent NewsNov 17 - 'Moving Day' participant is not letting young-onset Parkinson's disease stop him
Nov 17 - Focused ultrasound shows promise for treating Parkinson's tremor
Nov 17 - New research to target air pollution as a potential trigger for Parkinson’s
Nov 17 - This device will let you feel what it's like to suffer from Parkinson's
Nov 10 - How does Parkinson's disease influence depression?
Nov 10 - House votes to repeal ObamaCare's Medicare cost-cutting board
Nov 10 - Microsoft shows off watch that quiets Parkinson's tremors
Nov 3 - Utah group battling Parkinson's disease with boxing
Nov 3 - UVA-LED STUDY EXAMINES POTENTIAL OF SOUND WAVES TO MANAGE PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Oct 27 - Herbicide's link to Parkinson's disease
Oct 27 - NTU Singapore, KAIST scientists discover new mechanism that causes Parkinsonian symptoms
Oct 27 - 70,000 Washingtonians face higher insurance costs after Trump order, officials say
Oct 18 - Brain disconnections may contribute to Parkinson's hallucinations
Oct 18 - Fighting Parkinson's disease through dance
Oct 17 - Scientists Identify Structure of PINK1, Key Parkinson’s-protective Protein
Oct 17 - Diabetes drug cuts Parkinson's risk by 28 percent, study finds
Oct 10 - Advances in Brain Pacemaker Reduces Tremors, Helps Parkinson's Sufferers Live a More Normal Life
Oct 10 - Medical History Could Help Predict Parkinson's Disease Risk Long Before Diagnosis
Oct 3 - Changes in Olfactory Bulb Explain Loss of Smell in Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Study Finds
Oct 3 - Sleep Disturbances May Worsen Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, Study Suggests