Gene delivery across the blood brain barrier with viruses could revolutionize neuro-medicine, scientists believe.
The brain presents a unique challenge for medical treatment: it is locked away behind an impenetrable layer of tightly packed cells. Although the blood-brain barrier prevents harmful chemicals and bacteria from reaching our control center, it also blocks roughly 95 percent of medicine delivered orally or intravenously. As a result, doctors who treat patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, often have to inject drugs directly into the brain, an invasive approach that requires drilling into the skull.
Some scientists have had minor successes getting intravenous drugs past the barrier with the help of ultrasound or in the form of nanoparticles, but those methods can target only small areas. Now neuroscientist Viviana Gradinaru and her colleagues at the California Institute of Technology show that a harmless virus can pass through the barricade and deliver treatment throughout the brain.
Gradinaru’s team turned to viruses because the infective agents are small and adept at entering cells and hijacking the DNA within. They also have protein shells that can hold beneficial deliveries, such as drugs or genetic therapies. To find a suitable virus to enter the brain, the researchers engineered a strain of an adeno-associated virus into millions of variants with slightly different shell structures. They then injected these variants into a mouse and, after a week, recovered the strains that made it into the brain. A virus named AAV-PHP.B most reliably crossed the barrier.
- Description: “The harmless virus could deliver medicine throughout the brain“
- Source Link: http://ift.tt/27y2VCE
posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease
Simple solutions are often best, even when dealing with something as complicated as Parkinson’s. In this inspiring talk, Mileha Soneji shares accessible designs that make the everyday tasks of those living with Parkinson’s a bit easier. “Technology is not always it,” she says. “What we need are human-centered solutions.”
- Description: ““Smart” in today’s world has become synonymous to high tech, and the world is only getting smarter and smarter day by day. But why can’t smart be something that’s simple and yet effective? All we need is a little bit of empathy and some curiosity, to go out there, observe. But let’s not stop at that. Let’s find these complex problems. Don’t be scared of them. Break them, boil them down into much smaller problems, and then find simple solutions for them. Test these solutions, fail if needed, but with newer insights to make it better. Imagine what we all could do if we all came up with simple solutions. What would the world be like if we combined all our simple solutions? Let’s make a smarter world, but with simplicity.“
- Source Link: http://ift.tt/1QPcIcL
posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease
Evidence that low levels of blood urate (an antioxidant) are a cause of Parkinson’s disease.
- Description: “Higher serum urate concentrations predict more favorable prognosis in individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to test the causality of this association using a Mendelian randomization approach.“
- Source Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25257975
posted on my Facebook page: Parkinson’s News
In this post, you’ll read what we’ve been up to for the last year or so. You’ll learn what we’ve created and how it might benefit you and the Parkinson’s community. We’ll talk about what people with Parkinson’s really want, and why doctors, drug companies and much of scientific research have been failing them. We’ve been thinking outside the box, and we think you’ll like it. This is not a scientific article, it is written so that non-scientists can understand it and get a sense of our progress.
This is my first post for this project. Normally I let Dr. Steve
do the writing, but this is a topic I really want people to understand
. I’ve been talking as much as I can with folks on Facebook who are members of various Parkinson’s groups. Some groups provide more emotional support, some focus on practical tips, and some are interested in research. I see what concerns people, what people are confused about, and what gets them excited. BTW, feel free to friend me
Recently there’s been a buzz about a chemical found in pomegranates that might help people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Previously there was a buzz about cinnamon, and before that I think it was the spice turmeric. So what’s the story? If I have Parkinson’s should I eat more pomegranates? Or maybe I should take pomegranate extracts in capsule form?
This post is part II of a two part series on the question of Parkinson’s disease (PD) transmission. Specifically, we will review the issue of blood donation from PD patients. We will present the evidence, sample the prevailing attitudes and policies, and then make our recommendations.
Part I of this series
discussed the similarities between the possible cell to cell progression of Parkinson’s pathogenesis and contagious proteinaceous pathogens called prions. Despite these similarities, there is no evidence of person to person transmission of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is not contagious
However, the next form of transmission we need to consider is transmission through blood and tissue. …read more
This post is part I of a two part series on the question of PD transmission.
OK now don’t panic! The purpose of this post is not to scare anyone. Parkinson’s is not a virus that spreads from person to person.
At least we haven’t observed anything like that in the hundreds of years that medicine has known about the disease. That said, with a 20 plus year incubation period
it’s possible that some low level of transmission could be missed. But it is very unlikely.
So why the question? Why ask if Parkinson’s is contagious?
Here’s the list, but read on for the rest of the story.
Runners up are: dill pickle, wintergreen, mint, gasoline, smoke, cinnamon, aniseed, apple, lemon, and rose.
Current therapies for Parkinson’s disease treat only some of the symptoms of the disease. They do not treat the disease itself, and there is currently no convincing evidence that early detection and early treatment changes the disease progression. However, early detection has a few existing and future benefits:
- Early detection may help researchers understand more about how the disease progresses, where it starts and how it spreads.
- It would allow patients to identify their premotor symptoms for what they are, and seek quicker relief of those symptoms.
- If detected early enough, neuroprotective strategies (some already known to researchers) may be able to halt progression before the onset of “overt PD”.
- Early detection will be important for future therapies that stop or slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease; these are the so-called “disease modifying” therapies. The earlier the detection, the more neurons could be saved.
These last two benefits are where …read more
Once Parkinson’s progression is stopped, the brain may have the capacity to repair its own neuronal circuitry. Stopping the disease progression and neuronal repair have always been thought of as two separate challenges that only together constitute a “cure”. In other words, in order to cure Parkinson’s first you need to stop the disease process, the pathological cascade, and then you must invent a new therapy for regrowing neurons to replace the ones that were lost.
The common perception is that the brain is not capable of repairing itself when injured, and that neuronal circuitry cannot regrow. Yet researchers at Keele University in the UK found that …read more
Here’s a technology for regenerating neurons using retroviral gene therapy. Why is it important? Because once a treatment is discovered for stopping Parkinson’s progression, the next step is growing back the neurons. This is a very interesting Continue reading