International Event in the Italian Republic Senate: Stem Cells and Neurodegenerative Disease, 10 November 2015

The event ‘Stem Cell Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases’ is an occasion to inform on progress of stem cell research performed thanks to investments in public research in laboratories around the world. The event will also present new advancements that might potentially lead to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, which are incurable today. 

Reconstructing the brain: approaches to treating Parkinson’s disease

Dr Malin Parmar and colleagues concisely describe in an ACNR review efforts over the past 30 years to develop a treatment for Parkinson’s disease patients that replaces destroyed nerve cells in the brain. Many different approaches are being taken, from brain cell transplants to using pluripotent stem cells. Now, a technology called ‘direct neural conversion’ can be added to the arsenal of tools researchers are using.

Stem cell transplants for Parkinson’s disease edging closer

A major breakthrough in the development of stem cell-derived brain cells has put researchers on a firm path towards the first ever stem cell transplantations in people with Parkinson’s disease. A new study presents the next generation of transplantable dopamine neurons produced from stem cells. These cells carry the same properties as the dopamine neurons found in the human brain.

Interview with Malin Parmar: cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Malin Parmar heads a research group focused on developmental and regenerative neurobiology at Lund University in Sweden. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

At this year’s Hydra summer school I spoke to Malin about how she got started in stem cell research, what she’s working on at the moment, and her view of the prospects for treating Parkinson’s disease with stem cells.

Stem Cell Research: New, Major EU research grant focused on the development of stem cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases

Neurostemcellrepair (European stem cell consortium for neural cell replacement, reprogramming and functional brain repair) is formed to create a world-leading consortium that aims at taking human stem cells through the final steps toward clinical application in cell replacement therapy. Neurostemcellrepair is expected to close the gap between development and clinical implementation of stem cell replacement therapies for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and make significant advance towards stem cell therapy in Huntington’s Disease (HD).

NeuroStemcell group finds a new way to turn stem cells into neurons

A study coordinated by Malin Parmar at the University of Lund has developed  a new method to convert human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into functioning brain cells. Researchers say that the technique is twice as fast to perform as previous methods and reduces the risk of tumour formation, one of the most common obstacles in stem cell transplantations.

Teachers' TV: Stem cell research- The Issue

Stephen Cuff is only 39, but he suffers from Parkinson's Disease and it has turned his life upside down. He can no longer look after his two children and basic day-to-day activities like shaving, takes him a long time. Conventional drugs have not been successful for Stephen, leaving him no option but to undergo brain surgery. Stephen's operation is successful, but it doesn't cure him. One potential future cure is embryonic stem (ES) cell therapy. Professor Wilmut introduces us to the concept of stem cells and the science behind them, whilst presenting his opinion of the technology. Alison Davies, the chair of No Less Human, is a wheelchair user who would refuse ES cell therapy if it were available. She offers a different ethical perspective as to why the use of ES cells should not be permitted.

Brain-centric tweets for Brain Awareness Week

Last week, 12-18 March 2012, was Brain Awareness Week, the Dana Foundation's global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. As a fair amount of the stem cell research we cover is brain-related, we decided to get involved in this celebration of all things brain-related with a week of brain-centric links, images, videos, Q&A and more.

Parkinson’s disease: how could stem cells help?

Last updated:
12 Dec 2014

Parkinson's disease affects millions of people worldwide. Although the symptoms can be treated, there is no known cure. Scientists are investigating how regenerative medicine and stem cell science could be used to treat or prevent the disease.

Study from NeuroStemcell group opens new perspectives for Parkinson’s

A study coordinated by Lorenz Studer, a NEUROSTEMCELL principal investigator, has developed a new strategy for the efficient transformation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into dopamine-producing neurons. The neurons can be implanted into animals where they show “robust performance” by forming new connections and achieving long-term survival. The result is a significant progress in the use of PSCs and may help to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. The work is published in the journal Nature.

The degeneration of dopamine-producing (dopaminergic, in jargon) neurons is the main event behind the onset of Parkinson disease. One goal of NEUROSTEMCELL is to use PSCs to produce dopaminergic neurons that may be transplanted in patients affected by Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.

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