A discovery made by a Stanford University team has revealed the cause of Parkinson’s disease. Previously, doctors had no idea what causes the disease. Now, scientists have studied how the tremor disorder starts from a molecule-level and they even found ways to fix it. The work of the Stanford University team still needs confirmation from the larger scientific community.
So far, experts found that the cause of Parkinson’s disease is a body incapacity of removing damaged mitochondria. The damaged mitochondria let out “free radicals” which are made of reactive oxygen. These do damage to neurons which supply dopamine. Dopamine is a substance in the brain, called a neurotransmitter and it is essential for movement.
The discovery applies to all forms of Parkinson’s, both inherited Parkinson’s disease and the spontaneous form of Parkinson’s, which appears without a genetic cause.
Experts have found a way of allowing neurons to remove the damage mitochondria and protect the neurons. The technique was tested on sixteen Parkinson’s patients, with all forms of the disease.
Scientists took skin cells, known as fibroblasts. They converted them into artificial stem cells, known as ‘pluripotent stem cells’. This means that they can grow into any type of cell the body needs. So they grew these stem cells into dopamine-making neurons. This is how they can cure Parkinson’s disease.
The technique simply replaces cells affected by Parkinsons with healthy neurons, which can help the body get rid of defective Parkinson’s cells. Normal cells are not affected by treatment.
This is great news for those who suffer from Parkinson’s, as new, effective treatments will be created in the future.
Scientists are trying to figure out how much of the sick protein to remove and how often the treatment needs to be given in order to be effective.
1 million American citizens have Parkinson’s disease. It usually affects the elderly, but sometimes it starts from a young age. However, the first signs of Parkinson’s appear around 60.
The new method of treating it accomplished creating replacement neurons for patients, using stem cells. Unfortunately, it’s still a long time before the new treatment is available.
What’s your opinion on this article? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment, below. Thank you!
Image Source- Vimeo