Follow-up to "Breakthrough"

The principal authors of the "brain cells from skin cells" study were Xiang Dong Fu of UCSD and Yuanchao Xue of Wuhan Univ. in China. The study is being funded by the U.S National Instittutes of Health and a Chinese program.

Direect conversion of skin cells to neurons has been done before, using a variety of chemicals. The new method targets the activity of just one chemical, protein, and is more efficient in converting the cells. Researchers now use various types of cells to make the neurons. The cells produced mimic embryonic stem cells, but are easier to get and don't involve the moral objectiions some have to their use.

As part of his research, the Union Tribune reporter who did an article on the breakthrough contacted rival researchers at Scripps and elsewhere.regarding the progress of the UCSD study. While it was grudgingly agreed that the new process was a breakthrough, they warned that more study, animal testing and continuing research will be required. Sound familiar???


14 Replies

  • It might be a start but I think we are grabbing at Straws

  • I think it's great, but you still need a delivery system to get them into the brain.

  • The words rival" and "grudgingly" describe the current state of research into Parkinson's only too well. What is needed is new collective and cooperative approach and I have started to write an article " Parkinson's Research - A Paradigm Shift to Meet the Needs of People with Parkinson's" which I hope will catch the attention of some of the more influential people in this area and persuade the funding bodies, the researchers, the assessors of research findings to work more cooperatively. Any suggestions as to how I might get round the powerful vested interests which are holding up the delivery of better treatments and A Cure?

  • Your article sounds like a great idea, and could be really important. To get to the "powerful vested interests," I'd suggest the PAN forum or the World Parkinson's Congress. The PAN forum is the good guys, i.e., people like us and others advocating for us, but should have people who share your concerns and know how to reach the vested interests. I've never been to the WPC, but I think that pretty much everyone is there.

  • Thanks djbk1111 - I attended the WPC last time in Glasgow and, in fact, I have nominated the WPC to put forward a "Board of Directors" to oversee the coordinated research activities. I am not aware of the PAN Forum but will look into it

  • PAN is the Parkinson's Action Network, which is sort of the unified advocacy/lobbying group for all of the Parkinson's organizations in the U.S. Their annual public policy forum is in Washington, D.C. in late February (I may be attending, if I'm up to the trip.) I just looked at your profile and realized that you live in the U.K., so it may not be feasible for you to attend . ..

  • Hi djbk1111 - the PAN Forum in the US sounds like the ideal body to take this idea to. I'll try and get some more flesh on the bones by mid February then, if you are interested we could perhaps talk about getting someone in the PAN Forum hierarchy interested

    I think it needs to cover as many points (obstacles)as possible so as not to be thrown out on first reading yet be done as soon as practicable

    I'll get down to it this week

    Bob (Froggatt55)

  • Great! I'll look forward to seeing it, and hopefully working w/ you

    Dan (djbk1111)

  • Cheers Dan - I too am looking forward to working with you on this. Who knows, we might change the world for PwP!!

    Just as matter of interest, which state do you live in?

    Talk soon


  • California

  • Thanks Dan

    My sister lived in Phoenix, Arizona for about 14 years (she and hubby reurned to Scotland in December 2012) and I visited often. I learned to ride western style there, drove from Yuma to San Diego ands then via the Mohave Desert and Death Valley to Las Vegas and had my first Parkinson's symptoms there - a fall backwards on a track in the South Mountains in October 2002 and an inability to shuffle cards in April 2003

    Now back to the Paradigm Shift!!


  • Thanks for the update, I had looked at UCSD's research site and could not find anything on it, was going to call them this week and see what I could find out. They did list other studies but not this one.

  • According to Bradley Fikes' article,the study was published in the journal, "Cell". It's senior author is Xiang Dong Fu, (http//, professor of cellular and molecular medicine at UCSD. I got copies of the article, and a follow up dated1/11/13, through Google.

  • Thanks for the added info!

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