Monday, August 15, 2022

Australian researchers hope brain gel may reverse symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

SYDNEY – Australian researchers say they have developed a new type of gel that could radically change the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and even help stroke patients.

The hydrogel is made from natural amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and has been shown to safely deliver replacement cells to damaged parts of the brain.

The gel serves as a vehicle for safely transferring stem cells to the brain. Scientists believe this process can restore damaged tissue and replace lost neurons, which affect patients with Parkinson’s disease, a nervous system disorder. Around 100,000 Australians are estimated to suffer from the disease, which currently has no cure.

Professor David Nisbet, one of the lead researchers from the Australian National University College of Health and Medicine, said, “If you imagine a stroke, you have a whole bunch of dead cells where you no longer have blood flow. ” “In the context of Parkinson’s disease, you’ve lost a population of neurons, which is why the symptoms we’re familiar with result in. Basically, what we’re doing is we’re going to replace those cells in the brain. we are introducing replacement cells into the surrounding tissue that we can see some repair and regeneration. But they also have the added benefit that we have shown that they can actually protect some of the existing cells in the surrounding tissue after they have been transplanted “

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The gel is injected as a liquid. In the brain, it turns into a jelly-like substance and can be administered to specific areas affected by Parkinson’s or stroke. The stem cells can then be instructed to make replacement neurons.

Nisbet said the initial results are encouraging.

“These all-natural hydrogels can successfully reverse the movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease in animals,” he said. “But we have yet to do human trials, but, I mean, it looks really promising.”

Scientists say the technique could eventually be used to treat injured knees or shoulders as well.

The research is a collaboration between the Australian National University and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, an Australian brain research centre.

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Has been published in the magazine. advanced functional materials.

Nation World News Desk
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