One of the newest findings in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease was made by a genetic researcher named Xiang-Dong Fu at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. The finding was accidental as Fu and the research team were looking for a way to shorten the process to silence the gene PTB, which is a process that tends to be time consuming, but necessary for their original project.The researchers switched to a different process that grew cells without the PTB gene in connective tissue cells known as fibroblasts. The process was slow, but after they had been using it for a few weeks, Fu noticed that removing the PTB gene resulted in the growth of neurons.
The study was then tested in mice, and by inhibiting the rodents’ PTB, Parkinson’s symptoms began to go away. Mice who received a control treatment did not have the same improvements. Mice that received the treatment had a roughly 30% increase in neurons, and their dopamine levels were roughly the same as mice without the disorder.
The mice in the study did not have Parkinson’s Disease, but where administered treatments that would replicate the disease. Because of this, the researchers warn that the study still has a long way to go before it can be tried on humans.
You can check out the full details in the article Parkinson’s Disease Eliminated in Mice by One-Time Genetic Treatment That Generates New Neurons.