Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Finnish scientists discover nerve growth factor with therapeutic potential in Parkinson's disease

31.08.2009
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!
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens
14.08.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments
14.08.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>