Possible progress towards reversing Parkinson’s

A single-step method to convert non-neuronal brain cells into functional neurons, demonstrated in isolated human cells and in mice, is reported in Nature today.

Commenting on the study, Professor David Dexter, Associate Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said: "Cell transplants have, for a long time, aimed to replace lost cells in Parkinson's but their effectiveness has been limited since they struggle to integrate and function effectively within the brain.

“This new technique has overcome this major hurdle in mice and opens the door to an exciting new treatment approach, which may be able to reverse Parkinson's in people, in future.
"While people affected by Parkinson's should be greatly encouraged by the rapid advances researchers are making, such new technology requires extensive additional research and safety testing before it can be trialled in humans.”

Media enquiries

For more information and interview requests please contact Molly Horsburgh, Senior Media and PR Officer, at [email protected] or 020 7963 9351.

About Parkinson’s UK

Anyone can get Parkinson’s, young or old. In the UK, around 145,000 people are already living with Parkinson’s. Every hour, two more people are diagnosed.

Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.

We are the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe. We know we’re close to major breakthroughs and a cure. But right now, our focus is on fighting for fair treatment and better services for everyone affected by Parkinson’s.

During this current crisis, they need us more than ever, because Parkinson’s puts people at increased risk of complications if they get coronavirus.

We’ve adapted how we work to make sure that that help is available. But we rely solely on donations to deliver our critical support. To maintain our increased support offer, we must raise £95,000 every week for the next three months.

To support our emergency appeal, or for advice, information and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk, or call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.

We are Parkinson's UK. Powered by people. Funded by you. Together we'll find a cure.