Peptides helping researchers in search for Parkinson's disease treatment
Neurons shown above, and below an image of the peptide tissue scaffold.
(Medical Xpress)—Australian researchers have taken the first step in using bioactive peptides as the building blocks to help 'build a new brain' to treat degenerative brain disease.
Deakin University biomedical scientist Dr Richard Williams is working in a team with Dr David Nisbet from the Australian National University and Dr Clare Parish at the Florey Neuroscience Institute to develop a way to repair the damaged parts of the brain that cause Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease develops when the brain cells (or neurons) that produce the chemical dopamine die or are damaged. Dopamine neurons produce a lubricant that helps the brain transmit signals to the body that control muscles and movement. When these cells die or are damaged the result is the shaking and muscle stiffness that are among the common symptoms of the disease.
"We are looking at a way of helping the brain to regenerate the dead or damaged cells that transport dopamine throughout the body," Dr Williams said.
"Peptides help the body heal itself, providing many positive benefits for health, particularly in regenerative medicine; this is why the sports people were using them to recover more quickly in the current doping scandal."
Peptides are both the building blocks and the messengers of the body; the team has used them to mimic the normal brain environment and provide the chemical signals needed to help the brain function.
"Peptides stick together like Lego blocks, so in the first stage of the project we have been able to make a three dimensional material or tissue scaffold that provides the networks cells need to grow; but the peptides also carry instructions in the form of chemical signals which tell the cells to grow into new neurons," Dr Williams explained.
"Importantly, this material has the same consistency as the brain, does not cause chronic inflammation and is non-toxic to the body.
"Our aim is to use this scaffold material to support the patient's own stem cells that could be turned into dopamine neurons and implanted back into the brain. We expect that when implanted the material and stem cells would be accepted by the brain as normal tissue and grow to replace the damaged or dead cells."
While the research is not yet complete, Dr Williams is excited by the possibilities this work offers to the treatment of degenerative conditions.
"It is no secret that we are living longer, and with this we are seeing an increase in many conditions that come about because of ageing such Parkinson's. By developing biomaterials, like the ones we are working on, it could be possible to help the body to regenerate and provide an improved quality of life to the older members of our community," he said.
"This work can also be adapted to other parts of the body which struggle to repair themselves, such as new cartilage for joints, muscle and heart cells, bones and teeth. Ultimately, it will be like taking your car to the garage to have new parts fitted to replace the worn out ones."
The results of the first stage of this Australian Research Council funded project will be published in the international journal Soft Matter.
Journal reference: Soft Matter
Provided by Deakin University
- Identification of dopamine 'mother cells' could lead to future Parkinson's treatments Apr 07, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Dopamine controls formation of new brain cells Apr 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Endometrial stem cells could repair brain cells damaged by Parkinson's disease May 06, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Skin cells could help discover cause of Parkinson's disease Jul 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Stem cell research hopes to repair brain damage of Parkinson's disease Nov 11, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
New research from the University of Southampton has shown that blind and visually impaired people have the potential to use echolocation, similar to that used by bats and dolphins, to determine the location of an object.
Medical research 46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A novel vaccine study from South Dakota State University (SDSU) will headline the groundbreaking research that will be unveiled at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference ...
Medical research 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Every 20 seconds, a limb is lost as a consequence of diabetic foot ulcer that does not heal. To date, medical solutions that can change this situation are very limited. In his doctoral thesis Yue Shen from the Industrial ...
Medical research 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
When tumours metastasise, they can block lymphatic vessels, as researchers from ETH Zurich have discovered using a new method. The lymphatic fluid subsequently has to find a new path through the tissue. Such ...
Medical research 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In their quest to learn more about the variability of cells between and within tissues, biomedical scientists have devised tools capable of simultaneously measuring dozens of characteristics of individual ...
Medical research 23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
While the effects of acute stroke have been widely studied, brain damage during the subacute phase of stroke has been a neglected area of research. Now, a new study by the University of South Florida reports that within a ...
29 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new report suggests that improved health care and significant reductions in drug costs might be attained by breaking up the age-old relationship between physicians and drug company representatives who promote the newest, ...
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Food microbiology laboratories continue to submit false negative results and false positive results on a routine basis. A retrospective study of nearly 40,000 proficiency test results over the past 14 years, presented today ...
17 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Posterior fossa subdural hematoma (PFSDH) is a serious and rare condition in newborns, generally occurring after difficult deliveries. But with appropriate treatment, there's an excellent chance of good long-term outcomes ...
21 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
National guidelines recommend that at-risk women be screened for elevated cholesterol levels to reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease. But who is 'at risk?' The results of a study by investigators ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study conducted by researchers at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center found men diagnosed as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as likely to be obese in a 33-year ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |