Researchers use iPSCs to treat Parkinson's in rodents

Researchers at the Buck Institute for Age Research have successfully used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to treat rodents with Parkinson's disease. The research can be used to manufacture the type of neurons needed to treat the disease and paves the way for the use of iPSCs in various applications.

The researchers used human iPSCs derived from skin and blood cells and coaxed them to become dopamine-producing neurons, as patients with Parkinson's lack sufficient dopamine. The scientists then transplanted the neurons into rats that had mid-brain injury similar to that found in Parkinson's patients. The cells became functional and the rats showed improvement in their motor skills.

"The studies are very encouraging for potential cell therapies for Parkinson's disease," says Alan Trounson, the president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, in a statement. "The researchers showed they could produce quantities of dopaminergic neurons necessary to improve the behavior of a rodent model of PD. We look forward to further work that could bring closer a new treatment for such a debilitating disease," Trounson adds.

 - see the Buck Institute release

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