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Lund University study indicates potential Parkinson's treatment breakthrough

Date (2016-11-11)

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden are working to create a viable source of dopamine neurons needed in Parkinson’s disease research by utilizing advanced stem cell cultivation techniques.

Dopamine is a molecule found in the brain that acts as an activator for movement and other functions, and is often used as an important part of Parkinson’s treatment.

“We have identified a specific set of markers that correlate with high dopaminergic yield and graft function after transplantation in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.” Agnete Kirkeby, first author of the study, said. “Guided by this information, we have developed a better and more accurate methods for producing dopamine cells for clinical use in a reproducible way.”

The stem cell studies at Lund University are undertaken as part of the EU network NeuroStemcellRepair, an organization that aims to promote independent, expert-reviewed information and road-tested educational resources on stem cells.

While the experts at Lund University believe they are close to a major breakthrough, they acknowledge that progress on a foolproof method of successfully manipulating a stem cell has been difficult.

“ In our preclinical assessments of stem cell-derived dopamine neurons we noticed that the outcome in animal models varied dramatically, even though the cells were very similar at the time of transplantation,” Malin Parmar, a researcher who lead the Lund study, said. “This has been frustrating and puzzling, and has significantly delayed the establishment of clinical cell production protocols.”

The study was published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.

Source : lifesciencedaily