August 18, 2020
Scientists at the UC San Diego School of Medicine who thought they were studying connective tissue cell protein received quite a shock when they alternatively came across a therapy to eradicate signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in mice. Not just that, but the new Parkinson’s treatment could be beneficial in many different conditions that call for the need to replace damaged tissue: diabetes, spinal cord injuries, even cardiovascular illnesses.
The research involved a siRNA technique, in which scientists grew fibroblasts (a kind of connective tissue cell) in petri dishes while silencing the protein PTB. After a few weeks, they were surprised to realize the majority of fibroblasts had changed into neurons.
Lead author of the study, Xiang-Dong Fu, explained, “Researchers around the world have tried many ways to generate neurons in the lab, using stem cells and other means, so we can study them better, as well as to use them to replace lost neurons in neurodegenerative diseases. The fact that we could produce so many neurons in such a relatively easy way came as a big surprise.”
The research team then decided to test their new theory on Parkinson’s disease in mice, finding that it completely restored movement and functionality for the remainder of the mice’s lifetime – even those with an advanced case of the disease.
As you can imagine, the method to figure out if these findings transfer to humans is going to take time and caution to be certain of safety; nevertheless, for individuals struggling because of the disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, it is cause for optimism.
As Fu explains, “It’s my dream to see this through to clinical trials, to test this approach as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, but also many other diseases where neurons are lost, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases and stroke. And dreaming even bigger – what if we could target PTB to correct defects in other parts of the brain, to treat things like inherited brain defects?”
While we await the next steps in this significant breakthrough, you can trust Continuum, the top providers of in home care in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, for knowledgeable, highly skilled home care for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Examples of the numerous ways we are able to help include:
- Wholesome meal planning and preparation
- Light household chores
- Grocery shopping and other errands
- Personal care, such as bathing/showering, getting dressed, etc.
- Cheerful companionship
- Safe, accompanied transportation
- And a whole lot more
To discover more about our top-rated home care services and how we are helping seniors throughout St. Louis and St. Charles counties in Missouri, give us a call today at (314) 863-9912 to schedule a free in-home consultation.