Summary #1170

One-time treatment generates new neurons, eliminates Parkinson's disease in mice
  • Scientists discovered that by inhibiting or deleting a gene that encodes PTB (protein on/off switch for genes), they can turn mouse cells directly into neurons.
  • Now, this finding has been applied to astrocytes (cells in mice brains), turning them into neurons that produce dopamine, in effect curing Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • Compared to other methods to generate neurons, like stem cells, this method is surprisingly easy and effective.
  • After a single treatment, mice regained limb movement and response, and remained free of Parkinson’s symptoms for the rest of their lives.
  • It’s unclear if turning off PTB in human brain cells could generate neurons and alleviate neurodegenerative diseases, the team is moving towards human trials.


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