Parkinson’s in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
Abnormal oscillations in neurons that control movement, which likely cause the tremors that characterize Parkinson’s disease, have long been reported in patients with the disease. Now, University at Buffalo researchers working with stem cells report that they have reproduced these oscillations in a petri dish, paving the way for much faster ways to screen for new treatments or even a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
The paper is published online today (May 2) in Cell Reports.
“With this new finding, we can now generate in a dish the neuronal misfiring that is similar to what occurs in the brain of a Parkinson’s patient,” said Jian Feng, PhD, senior author on the paper and professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. “A variety of studies and drug discovery efforts can be implemented on these human neurons to speed up the discovery of a cure for Parkinson’s disease.”
The work provides a useful platform for better understanding the molecular mechanisms at work in the disease, he added.