Home pagePress monitoringScientists give lab-grown mini-brains Parkinson's disease

Scientists give lab-grown mini-brains Parkinson's disease

Date: 8.9.2021 

Much of the prior research into Parkinson’s has been conducted in mouse models of the disease, but that’s far from a perfect analog of humans. Some of the most characteristic pathological features of Parkinson’s don’t actually appear in mice, leading to an incomplete picture of disease progression or experimental treatments.

Kredit: Hyunsoo Shawn Je / Duke-NUS Medical School.To help us crack the complex puzzle that is our own brains, scientists have been growing miniature versions in the lab. Now, a team in Singapore has made a major breakthrough by growing mini-brains with the pathological features of Parkinson’s disease for the first time, potentially paving the way towards better treatments.

To create brain organoids that exhibited signs of Parkinson’s, the researchers engineered the DNA of stem cells to give them the genetic risk factors associated with the disease. And sure enough, the resulting mini-brains showed signs of progressive loss of their dopamine-producing neurons, as well as Lewy bodies.

“These experiments are the first to recreate the distinctive features of Parkinson’s disease that we see only in human patients,” says Hyunsoo Shawn Je, senior co-author of the study. “We have created a new model of the pathology involved, which will allow us to track how the disease develops and how it might be slowed down or stopped.”





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