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Parkinson's cell visualisation will create better treatments

Parkinson's cell visualisation will create better treatments
31st January 2012

New technology that allows scientists to observe how the brain cells responsible for Parkinson's disease develop could yield better treatments for the condition.

Previously brain cell research has focused on the function and generation of neurons responsible for Parkinson's disease in an adult or aging brain.

However, the study at the University of Bonn used a tissue slicing method to observe cell development for the first time.

Dr Sandra Blaess, author of the study, explained: "Little is known about the behaviour of these neurons during their differentiation and migration phase and with this technique, we can really observe how these cells behave during development."

Tissue slicing will also help cells be genetically manipulated to develop new treatment options.

In previous studies, researchers had used stem cell technology to grow brain cells believed to be responsible for Parkinson's disease.

Dr Richard Wade-Martins, head of the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre, used special stem cells to grow dopamine neurons, which cause Parkinson's when they begin to die.

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