Tag Archives: technology

virus_bbb

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

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

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

posted on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease

The Parkinson's Fighting Machine

The Parkinson’s Fighting Machine

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.

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Filter and Fan

Progress on The Machine: added mesh filtration and exhaust fan.

We’ve made some progress in the construction and testing of the machine. Concerns about heat and dust infiltration were solved (we hope) by inserting high open area, low open size woven mesh sheeting over the top and side grills. This will act as a filter that can be cleaned using compressed air. Also, we placed an exhaust fan over the hottest spot on the grill in order to keep interior temperatures reasonable.
uploaded on our Facebook fan page: Stop Parkinson’s Disease