Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are caused by the death of nerve cells in the part of the brain called basal ganglia.
Our goal is to develop and improve treatments for the diseases and to improve quality of life for patients and their families.
Researchers at Lund University have used a completely new preclinical technique and analysis of tissue from patients to show exactly what happens when certain patients with Parkinson’s disease are restored as a result of nerve cell transplants. They have also identified what makes many of the transplant patients develop serious side effects in the form of involuntary movements.
In the late 1980s and over the 1990s, researchers at Lund University in Sweden pioneered the transplantation of new nerve cells into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The outcomes proved for the first time that transplanted nerve cells can survive and function in the diseased human brain. Some patients showed marked improvement after the transplantation while others showed moderate or no relief of symptoms. A small number of patients suffered unwanted side-effects in the form of involuntary movements.
Unwanted formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in the brain is likely to be the cause of intractable walking and balance difficulties for people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. This conclusion is supported by new research from BAGADILICO researchers.
The underlying cause of most brain diseases are yet largely unknown. The clumping together of certain proteins is, however, a well-documented key step in the degradation of brain structures in Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Multiple system atrophy (MSA). For example, the protein alpha-synuclein is a known culprit in PD and MSA. A recent study from Lund University shows that this protein is naturally produced in a certain type of the brain’s helper cells, namely the oligodendrocytes. Since very little is known about the role of alpha-synuclein in these glial cells, this discovery should open up new lines of research on the part they may play during in disease progression, particularly in MSA.
The World Parkinson Coalition, host of the triennial World Parkinson Congresses, has released their first podcast episode in a series that aims to survey the landscape of Parkinson's disease research and treatment by interviewing neuroscientists, neurologists, and people with Parkinson. The podcast, Portland Countdown, can be found on ITunes and other platforms for podcasts. For more information - CLICK HERE