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.
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.
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.
In “Human stem-cell research in gastroenterology: experimental treatment, tourism and biobanking”, EuroStemCell ethics expert and Professor Emeritus of Lund University’s Department of Medical Ethics Göran Hermerén outlines some of the prospects for applying stem cell therapies to gastroenterological diseases, and related ethical issues.
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.
Patent law addresses a problem that is basically ethical: what is a fair balance between the interests of the inventor, the industry, potential users and society at large?