Researchers at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of Buffalo University have developed a way to convert skin cells into dopamine neurons.
This discovery enables researchers to generate patient-specific neurons in a dish that could then be transplanted into the brain to repair the faulty neurons. It can also be used to efficiently screen new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
“Our method is faster and much more efficient than previously developed ones,” says Jian Feng, one of the main authors of the study. “The best previous method could take two weeks to produce 5 percent dopamine neurons. With ours, we got 60 percent dopamine neurons in ten days.”
In fact, previous studies have demonstrated the efficiency of these neurons. Future studies are needed to assess the transplantation of these cells in human patients.