Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. According to statistics, more than 10 million people worldwide suffer from this disease. But now treating Parkinson’s disease with this new approach can offer hope for a lot of people.
What is Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease occurs as a result of the degeneration of brain cells that produce dopamine. However, dopamine is important for the control of the centers in the brain, which are responsible for movement and coordination. It is not known what destroys the nerve cells, but their lack, among other things, causes exhaustion and difficulty in movement.
Patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease take a prescribed drugs to relieve the symptoms, but the disease is incurable. So scientists are trying to compensate the damaged neurons by transplantation of healthy new neurons in the brain, but that is also associated with the risk of incompatibility.
New Approaches to Treating Parkinson’s Disease
However, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found another approach that does not require a transplant of cells. They managed to make reprogramming of astrocytes – (the most abundant glial cells in the brain ) to produce dopamine and to start taking the role of damaged neurons.
Tests on mice with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s showed that this treatment reduces the symptoms.
Despite the promising results, the researchers pointed out that this research is at an early stage. It will be required additional research to demonstrate that reprogramming does not change the other cells in the brain. Only then, this technique can be tested on humans, but scientists hope that this new approach to treating Parkinson’s disease will become a viable treatment that will improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease and eventually lead to its cure.