Finnish scientists discover nerve growth factor with therapeutic potential in Parkinson's disease
Scientists in the Academy of Finland's Neuroscience Research Programme have reported promising new results with potential implications for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
They have been studying the impacts of nerve growth factors in the treatment of PD, and their latest results show that a certain growth factor can be used to halt the progress of damage brought on by a nerve poison and possibly even restore the function of damaged cells.
The studies on nerve growth factors used an experimental PD model in rats. Administration of the growth factor reduced motor disturbances in rats.
The severe motor disturbances that are seen in PD are caused by the slow degeneration of dopamine nerves in the brain. There are treatments that alleviate the symptoms of the disease, such as hand tremor, but they do not prevent or halt the degeneration of nerve cells. The nerve growth factors studied to date have slowed nerve cell degeneration to some extent, but they have had only limited therapeutic effect. Several known nerve growth factors, such as GDNF, also attach to extracellular tissue, possibly deterring their movement to nerve cells that require treatment.
Working under the supervision of Academy Professor Mart Saarma, scientists at the University of Helsinki Institute of Biotechnology have now been investigating two new nerve growth factors. MANF (mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor) is released from glial cells in the midbrain and is a member of the same growth factor family as CDNF, another growth factor that Saarma's team have investigated. A University of Helsinki team led by Professor Raimo K. Tuominen discovered that in the experimental PD model, MANF and CDNF injections into the brain prevented dopamine nerve destruction caused by nerve poison and to some extent even restored the function of damaged cells in rats.
The latest results suggest that MANF spreads more readily in brain tissue than other known growth factors. This may be a highly significant finding in respect to the development of growth factor therapy for PD.
The results are published in the 29 July issue of the Journal of Neuroscience
Professor Mart Saarma | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...