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A Trojan Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

By Abdul-Kareem Ahmed, MIT Technology Review, www.technologyreview.com

Scientists use immune cells to smuggle molecules across the blood-brain barrier in the hopes of treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Deep in the base of the brain, a cascade of events including oxidative damage and inflammation can kill neurons, resulting in the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

An international team of researchers has now developed a technique that might be used to prevent this cell death. They engineer immune cells to carry protective stowaway molecules, and the hope is that these Trojan cells can help prevent neuron death by delivering treatments across the blood-brain barrier—a layer of cellular structures that blocks most molecules from passing into the brain. The researchers have so far tested the approach successfully in mice. Read more at http://www.technologyreview.com/news/520031/a-trojan-treatment-for-parkinsons-disease/

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