Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Parkinson’s cure closer after neuron discovery

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Scientists have said they are “one step closer to a cure” for Parkinson's disease thanks to university stem cell research.

A team at the University of Bedfordshire said they can identify the contribution of different elements inside a single brain cell which are responsible for the development of Parkinson's disease.

Dr Bushra Ahmed and a group of research students identified that Parkinson's sufferers' brain cells, or neurons, are dying.

Their research shows that this is because the neurons in the brain's movement-control region cannot detoxify the harmful substances produced during metabolic reactions.

The next step is to take the giant leap into protecting a cell from death which may ultimately lead to discovering a cure.

Dr Ahmed's research found that Parkinson's sufferers' neurons are overloaded with excessive everyday toxic by-products.

These by-products are harmlessly managed in a healthy individual, but Parkinson's sufferers' neurons are damaged when they meet them.

This causes Parkinson's sufferers' brain cells to die, and this leads to messages that control movement and balance to be disrupted.

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