Scientists hijack brain cells and make Parkinsons neurons look like dice

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U. S. and Switzerland has gotten closer to the responsible of Parkinsons disease. With the help of cancer immunotherapy they replaced worn down neurons in mice with cells just from the brain an essential step in understanding how the disease happens.

The pair of researchers then used cancer immunotherapy to give the affected mice a complete treatment with the protein that mediates synapse (atomic connection between nerve cells in the brain). Synaptic connections are essential for normal brain development. When they replaced worn-down axons of the neurons their mice could over time no longer communicate with the organ.

These mice showed an extraordinary reduction in the severity of the disease says Frederic Becher a scientist affiliated with the Institut Pasteur CNRS Fond 193536 and the French National Institute of Health. They could even walk splashing. The lesion site was much less severe than the control groups.

The researchers believe that the immune cell replacement therapy could be used to treat other types of Parkinsons in radiopharmaceuticals and in experimental models in the near future. With inventive approaches to anti-tumour treatment we aim to reduce the clinical burden of Parkinsons in a significant way concludes Frederic Becher.