Gene Therapy To Tackle Neurodegeneration

Medical News Today notes continued efforts to employ gene therapy against neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease (PD): researchers will "test the feasibility of delivering condensed DNA nanoparticles that encode for a neurotrophic factor to the brain as a means to halt or prevent the neurodegenerative process in an animal model of PD. Neurotrophic factors are capable of protecting neurons from dying, thereby rescuing essential neurons in the brain. In animal studies, neurotrophic factors have revived dormant brain cells, caused them to produce dopamine, and prompted dramatic improvement of symptoms. ... said this relatively new gene therapy strategy holds potential to help repair faulty genes. It entails transduction, a technique for expressing a particular gene in a cell by delivering DNA into the cell and making the cell synthesize the protein that corresponds to that DNA. ... We plan to use this technology to transduce brain cells so that they express proteins beneficial to the cell's survival."

Link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=64348

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