- Researchers identify genetic links between epilepsy and sudden death
- Landmark 69-year study to provide window into dementia
- Study of brain changes 20 years before hereditary dementia symptoms start
- Dopamine drugs affect risk taking behaviour and happiness
- Commonly prescribed drugs affect decisions to harm oneself and others
- Research reveals how the human brain might reconstruct past events
- Research into genetic influences on epilepsy and migraines
- Fast forwarding treatment for neurodegenerative disorders at LWENC
- Natural genetic variation gives complete resistance in prion diseases
- Professor Lees awarded ABN Medal 2015
- Professor Hardy elected member of EMBO
- Working with Saracens to monitor concussion in rugby
- Mutations in two novel genes cause primary dystonia
- A new genetic switch uncovered in the long genes expressed in our brain
- Professor Alan Thompson elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences
- UCL Institute of Neurology researchers awarded MRC fellowships
- Professor Ray Dolan has been elected Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Deep brain stimulation for Tourette syndrome
- Behaviour changes common in early stage familial Alzheimer's
- Imaging shows early brain changes in FTD patients
- New test measures deadly protein in Huntington’s disease patients’ spinal fluid
- Professor Mary Reilly is elected to be the first female President of the Association of British Neurologists in 83 years
- Structure of genetic messenger molecules reveals key role in diseases
- Professor Nick Fox speaks about trial in early onset familial Alzheimer's disease at UCL
- First major exhibition to explore BSE and its impact opens at Hayward Gallery
- Government pledges £300m for dementia research
- UCL awarded £10m to develop new dementia treatments
- BRC awards £700,000 to neuroscience projects
- UCL Neuroscience rated top by research strength in the REF2014
- $5.9 million boost for SUDEP research
- Secret of tetanus toxicity offers new way to treat motor neuron disease
- Harm to others outweighs harm to self in moral decision making
- Auto anomaly detection for brain imaging awarded £1m grant
- Spinal surgery: OECs studies to start in 2015
- New brain tumour research Centre of Excellence is unveiled
- UCL awarded £13.5 million to advance medical research facilities
- UCL research helps paralysed man to recover function
- Stenting safe and effective for long-term stroke prevention
- Department of Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy re-designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre
- Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre open evening
- Brain stimulation to improve cognition in dementia
- Professor Lees receives Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Research in Parkinson’s Disease
- Creating brain cells from skin to study Alzheimer's
- Queen Square authors prominent in Brain collection of classic articles
- Toxic proteins implicated in frontotemporal dementia and motor neurone disease
- GCH1 gene and Parkinson’s risk
- Double mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia
- Equation to predict happiness
- Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network Trial: An Opportunity to Prevent Dementia
- Researchers test whether diabetes drug can help Parkinson’s patients
- Acute optic neuritis: a review and proposed protocol
- Hippocampal subfield size predicts the precision of memory recall
- Immune system implicated in dementia development
- UCL and Chiesi Group announce partnership to develop a novel therapeutic for birth asphyxia
- Professor Golay made a Fellow of the ISMRM
- The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials
- Professor Rees wins UCLU Student Choice Teaching Award
- New epilepsy treatment offers ‘on demand’ seizure suppression
- Professor Tabrizi and Professor Price elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
- Professor Dolan and Professor Friston elected to EMBO membership
- Vitamin B3 treatment for ataxia shows promise in first human trial
- Teaching Awards 2014
- Light-activated neurons from stem cells restore function to paralysed muscles
- UCL and Max Planck Society invest €5m to open world’s first computational psychiatry centre
- Successful launch of new annual leading edge neurology course
- Statins could help control MS
- Professor Hardy awarded Thudichum Medal by Biochemical Society
- Population Screening for vCJD Using a Novel Blood Test
- Chief Medical Officer appoints Professor Rossor as NIHR National Director for Dementia Research
- New partnership between UCLP brain tumour scientists and Brain Tumour Research
- Professor Hardy awarded Dan David Prize for work on the amyloid gene encoding APP
- NIHR award £650,000 for research into rare neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases
- Lowering levels of toxic protein reverses abnormalities in cells from patients with Huntington's disease
- Teaching Awards 2015
Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson’s patients
24 August 2011
Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson’s patients
24 August 2011
Scientists have for the first time generated stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson’s disease.
The development will help research into the condition as it will enable scientists to model the disease in the laboratory to shed light on why certain nerve cells die.
Scientists, funded with a £300,000 grant from the charity Parkinson’s UK, took skin samples from a patient diagnosed with one of the most progressive types of Parkinson’s.
The research, led by the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with University College London researchers, then used these skin cells to generate brain nerve cells affected by the disease.
The ability to generate these nerve cells will make it easier to monitor the effectiveness of potential new drugs that could slow or halt progress of the condition.
The aim would be to find drugs that can prevent the death of these key cells – known as neurons – which break down as a result of Parkinson’s.
Dr Tilo Kunath, of the University of Edinburgh’s Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, said: “Current drugs for Parkinson’s alleviate symptoms of the condition. Modelling the disease in a dish with real Parkinson’s neurons enables us to test drugs that may halt or reverse the condition.
“This study provides an ideal platform to gain fresh insight into the condition, and opens a new area of research to discover disease-modifying drugs.”
The neuron cells were generated from a patient with a form of Parkinson’s that progresses rapidly and can be diagnosed in people in their early 30s.
People with this form of Parkinson’s have twice as many of the genes that produce a protein – alpha synuclein – compared with the general population.
Although this form of Parkinson’s is rare the protein involved is linked to virtually all types of the disease.
Dr Michael Devine, of UCL’s Institute of Neurology said, “Understanding such a progressive form of the disease will give us insight into different types of Parkinson’s. As this type of Parkinson’s progresses rapidly it will also make it easier to pick up the effects of drugs tested to prevent nerve cells targeted by the disease from dying.”
The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Development at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Although the genetic mutation that leads to this progressive form of Parkinson’s is rare this exciting study has the potential to bring about a huge breakthrough in Parkinson’s research.
“This is just the kind of innovative research that Parkinson’s UK is committed to funding as we move closer to a cure.”
Image: Dopamine-producing nerve cells grown from stem cells of a Parkinson's patient. Credit: The University of Edinburgh
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