New stem cell study reveals Parkinson's research insight
6 July 2012 16:10 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
A new study into stem cell technology has revealed a potential new means of developing personalised therapies for Parkinson's disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study involved the collection of skin cells from patients with genetically inherited forms of Parkinson's, before these cells were reprogrammed into neurons.
This resulted in the creation of neurons that showed common signs of distress and vulnerability, while also offering different responses to treatment based on the form of Parkinson's each patient had.
Using this technique, scientists can more easily investigate signs of the disease and test how different versions of the condition respond to new drug treatments.
Dr Margaret Sutherland, a programme director at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, said: "These findings suggest new opportunities for clinical trials of Parkinson's disease, in which cell reprogramming technology could be used to identify the patients most likely to respond to a particular intervention."
Currently, around 127,000 people in the UK are affected by the debilitating condition.
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