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New Method for Making Neurons Could Lead to Parkinson's TreatmentNew Method for Makin

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Unread 11-07-2011, 08:06 AM   #1
soccertese
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Default New Method for Making Neurons Could Lead to Parkinson's TreatmentNew Method for Makin

http://www.technologyreview.com/comp...nld=2011-11-07
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Unread 11-08-2011, 02:39 AM   #2
Conductor71
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Default Raises some questions...

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Originally Posted by soccertese View Post
This news seems is the buzz in the Young Onset groups, but while I hate to rain on the parade some pretty big questions come to mind...

This guy is still working with embryonic stem cells and is saying three to four years before human trials. Well this sounds fantastic, but before this becomes a viable treatment have they decided who will supply the embryonic cells? Or are they cloning? If he expects to offer them as treatment in less then five years, shouldn't we be hotly debating the ethics and seeing that related legislation is passed now?

I stil have concern over autoimmune aspects and until he reveals how they got over the hump of controlling cellular over-achievers...still it beats taking pills all day.

My bet is on the induced pluripotent stem cells and recently discovered work by Marius Wernig of Stanford U. He actually published a few years ago (2008) on results from testing his talents on creating cells here:

Neurons derived from reprogrammed fibroblasts functionally integrate into the fetal brain and improve symptoms of rats with Parkinson's disease


Werning points out how stem therapy, whether embryonic or induced, might be required more than once in a PWP's life...until disease modifying treatments are discovered. For the most part it seems that we are near having half a cure!!

Laura
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Unread 11-08-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Call me simple minded BUT, What good is making new neurons going to do when they don't even know what is killing off the neurons in the first place? Won't the new neurons become infected (for the loss of a better word) and die off also?
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Unread 11-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Agreed

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Call me simple minded BUT, What good is making new neurons going to do when they don't even know what is killing off the neurons in the first place? Won't the new neurons become infected (for the loss of a better word) and die off also?
Greg,

I agree with you; it does seem they're putting the cart before the horse. I noted that at least Stanford researchers are noting this. Wernig pretty much said older onset people may be good to go with just one implant. It is pretty wild that they are on the brink of completing half of our cure. This only highlights how they really need to rethink the scattershot approach.

It also brings up that since they can create dopamine neurons; they can use them to now induce PD or observe in us somehow to watch how everything unfolds. Basically they will have much more authentic model than what we now have in lab animals. From what I have read, they can mimic l we That is very promising; maybe stem cells will find out how the party got started in the first place...
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Unread 11-08-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Default Gald I'm not the only one

Good to see I'm not the only one thinking this isn't all that people seem to think it is. Great, they got over the overgrowth problem, and that's huge....but the bigger one is using someone else's cells and the rejection issues that brings in-if they can take ES and make them dopamine cells, why can't they just take my cells and do the same? Oh, I forgot, they want to have a patent on the cells so they can sell them...one cell fits all, I guess.

I would think they could get a patent on the process of converting a cell into a dopamine-producing one, which would allow for individualized medicine on a person-by-person basis. Still very lucrative, and without the rejection issue(s).

I agree with the cause issue as well, these newly implanted cells may just wither as the original ones did, until they find the underlying reason why they get sick in the first place.

But like Laura said, cell replacement would at least offer an alternative to all the pills, and apparently without side effects.
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Unread 11-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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i just assume these researchers aren't stupid.

i've always assumed that either we were born with too few dopamine neurons or some brain injury reduced the amount we had so when the normal 1% die off/year occurred we ran out too soon. but i'm willing to deal with imperfect and take an implant that might only last 5 years.

remember dennis turner and dr. levesque and the autologous stem cell implant of his own modified cells that never went commercial? i guess the implanted cells petered out.

i think some of the foetal neuron implants done in the 90's are still working?
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