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UK research 'may assist development of new Parkinson's drugs'

UK research 'may assist development of new Parkinson's drugs'
4th September 2008

A team of UK scientists is hoping that its work could lead to the development of new medicines for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Researchers from Durham University and the North East England Stem Cell Institute have developed new tools to test treatments for people with brain disorders, according to the Sunderland Echo.

The scientists have developed two synthetic molecules which can be used for helping to prompt stem cells to transform into other forms of tissue.

According to the news provider, Dr Stefan Przyborski, one of the researchers, said that the synthetic molecules enable more reliable scientific experiments than techniques which were used previously.

He added: "Because the results will be more scientifically robust, this will accelerate drug development using human stem cell-derived tissues and potentially reduce the numbers of animals used in such research."

Meanwhile, new research from the US suggests that a surgical technique known as deep-brain stimulation halts the loss of dopamine-cells in animals.

Scientists from the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinatti and University Hospital believe their findings could influence the timing of when different treatments are administered to Parkinson's patients, as deep-brain stimulation is currently often seen only as a last resort.

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