Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Study uses Stem Cells to Study Variants of Parkinson’s Disease

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Personalized medicine closer to reality.

A nationwide consortium of scientists at 20 institutions, led by a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), has used stem cells to take a major step toward developing personalized medicine to treat Parkinson’s disease.
In part supported by the Harvard Miller Consortium for the Development of Nervous System Therapies, the team of scientists created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from the skin cells of patients and at-risk individuals carrying genetic mutations implicated in Parkinson’s disease, and used those cells to derive neural cells, providing a platform for studying the disease in human cells outside of patients.
In a paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers report that although approximately 15 genetic mutations are linked to forms of Parkinson’s, many seem to affect the mitochondria, the cell unit that produces most of its energy.
“This is the first comprehensive study of how human neuronal cells can be models of Parkinson’s, and how it might be treated,” said Ole Isacson, a leader of the study, an HSCI principal faculty member, and a Harvard Medical School professor of neurology, based at McLean Hospital’s Neuroregeneration Laboratory.
The researchers determined that certain compounds or drugs could reverse some signs of disease in the cultured cells with specific genetic mutations, and not in cells with other types of mutations, making real the concept of developing drugs that would be prescribed to patients or individuals at risk for Parkinson’s.
The study was launched with federal stimulus funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was continued with funding from HSCI.
“These findings suggest new opportunities for clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease, wherein cell reprogramming technology could be used to identify the patients most likely to respond to a particular intervention,” said Margaret Sutherland, a program director at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in a press release.
The new research indicates that compounds that previously have shown promise in treating Parkinson’s in animal studies, including the antioxidant coenzyme Q10, together with the immunosuppressant rapamycin, have differing levels of effectiveness on various genetic forms of Parkinson’s. Researchers hope that such findings can provide the basis for more specific drugs for individuals with sporadic forms of Parkinson’s.
As Isacson explained in an interview, this study points the way to screening patients with Parkinson’s for their particular variation of the disease, and then treating them with drugs shown effective to work on that variation, rather than trying to treat all patients with the same drugs, as is generally done now.
“We believe that using human stem cells to study the disease is the correct way to go,” Isacson said. “We have the cell type most vulnerable to the disease in a dish. We can study the most vulnerable cells and compare them to the least vulnerable cells. Traditionally, in neurology,” he said, “all patients with the same disease get the same drugs. But they may have the disease for different reasons. This gives us a way to tease out those different reasons, and find different ways to treat them.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Potential Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy
A new method for producing muscle cells could offer a better model for studying muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, and for testing potential treatment options.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Zebrafish Reveal Drugs that may Improve Bone Marrow Transplant
Compounds boost stem cell engraftment; could allow more matches for patients with cancer and blood diseases.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Promising Stem Cell Therapy
Animal model of breast-to-brain cancer spread allows testing of therapeutic-cell approach.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Brains or Skin?
Researchers identify a vital protein that can determine head and brain development.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Keeping Embryonic Stem Cells in Suspended Animation
Research reveals new strategy to control cellular identity and fate.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Giant Leap Against Diabetes
Ability to produce embryonic stem cells will allow researchers to push faster toward cure.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Improving Cord Blood Transplants
Researchers have published initial results of a Phase Ib human clinical trial of a therapeutic that could improve the success of blood stem cell transplantation.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Stem Cell Researchers Produce New Model of Leukemia Development
Two former Stanford University postdoctoral fellowsnow have the answer to why patients with leukemia stop producing healthy blood cells.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Developing Cancer Drugs
Researchers find therapeutic potential in ‘undruggable’ target.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Stem Cell Transplant that 'Rebuilds Brain Circuitry'
A brain transplant of stem cells has worked in mice in a breakthrough that signals new hope for conditions from autism to Parkinson’s disease.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Helping the Heart Help Itself
An article published in the latest edition of the journal Cell Stem Cell, describes how research by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute points to new use for stem cells.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Scientific News
The Mending Tissue - Cellular Instructions for Tissue Repair
NUS-led collaborative study identifies universal mechanism that explains how tissue shape regulates physiological processes such as wound healing and embryo development.
Tissue Bank Pays Dividends for Brain Cancer Research
Checking what’s in the bank – the Brisbane Breast Bank, that is – has paid dividends for UQ cancer researchers.
iPS Cells Discover Drug Target for Muscle Disease
Researchers have designed a model that reprograms fibroblasts to the early stages of their differentiation into intact muscle cells in a step towards a therapeutic for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Engineered Hot Fat Implants Reduce Weight Gain
Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning “good” fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose levels in mice.
Transplanted Stem Cells Can Benefit Retinal Disease Sufferers
Tests on animal models show that MSCs secrete growth factors that suppress causes of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
MRI Scanners Can Steer Therapeutics to Specific Target Sites
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered MRI scanners, normally used to produce images, can steer cell-based, tumour busting therapies to specific target sites in the body.
Team Finds Early Inflammatory Response Paralyzes T Cells
Findings could have enormous implications for immunotherapy, autoimmune disorders, transplants and other aspects of immunity.
Early Detection of Lung Cancer
The University of Manchester has signed a collaboration agreement with Abcodia to perform proteomics studies on a cohort of non-small cell lung cancer cases from the UKCTOCS biobank, with the aim of discovering new blood-based biomarkers for earlier detection of the disease.
Researchers Identify Drug Candidate for Skin, Hair Regeneration
Formerly undiscovered role of protein may lead to the development of new medications that stimulate hair and skin regeneration in trauma or burn victims.
Basis for New Treatment Options for a Fatal Leukemia in Children Revealed
Detailed molecular analyses allow new insights into the function of tumour cells and options for new treatments.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!