Tag Archives: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

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Can Parkinson’s be treated using engineered viruses?

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

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hacks

Simple hacks for life with Parkinson’s

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

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fool

Treating Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms is Lucrative

According to investors, the most promising drugs in the pipeline for treating Parkinson’s disease DON’T actually treat the disease. The drugs merely reduce some of the symptoms of this degenerative disease. The sole purpose of one of the drugs is to reduce the side effects of another drug that itself only helps symptoms!

As the numbers of sufferers continues to increase, treatment of symptoms is certainly lucrative. But this report should remind us of the desperate need for treatments that slow, stop, or reverse the disease itself. Parkinson’s is progressive and more and more Continue reading

Normal Brain

New drug discovery technique using skin cells reveals promising new drugs

Skin cells with a genetic defect found in a small number of Parkinson’s cases, specifically autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Essentially, the mutation makes mitochondria, the cell’s energy factories, sick. Out of 2,000 compounds, the screen found a family of new drugs, including an existing drug called UDCA, that allowed the mitochondria to work again. Very nicely done!

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