Reprogrammed skin cells inserted in brain help Parkinson’s patient regain function – study

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REUTERS – Skin cells reprogrammed to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine and inserted deep into the brain of a 69-year-old man with Parkinson’s disease have allowed him to tie his shoes again and resume swimming and biking, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

The experimental treatment, initiated two years ago and financed partly by the patient, used the man’s own skin cells to create dopamine-releasing nerve cells. Using his own cells dramatically lowers the risk of rejection by the immune system.

Parkinson’s, a progressive disease that affects millions of people worldwide, produces tremors, stiffness, and problems walking and speaking as the dopamine-producing cells in the brain degenerate.

Researchers say the transformed skin cells, transplanted into both hemispheres of the brain in surgical procedures six months apart, continued to produce the dopamine needed to ease the Parkinson’s symptoms.

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Your kids hate your smartphone addiction

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From CNET Magazine: It isn’t easy balancing “me time” and parenting. I talked to experts to find out how.

I can’t stay off my phone. And I’m afraid it’s hurting my 2-year-old son.

Sometimes it’s a breaking news story that draws me in, other times it’s boredom. Whatever it is, this device in my hands — which gives me access to nearly all human knowledge plus all the cat videos I could ever want — is constantly calling for my attention.

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Left Wing Liberals are Born, Not Made

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Scientists discover gene associated with open mindedness.

Holding liberal views may be in the blood, believe scientists, after identifying a gene that makes you more open minded.   Researchers have discovered that the “liberal gene” opens you up to new ideas and alternative lifestyles – and could influence your belief in left wing politics.

Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Neural activity in the brain of a Parkinsonian rat before (top) and after (bottom) electrical stimulation is applied to its spinal cord.  

Delivering electrical stimulation to the spinal cord through tiny, platinum electrodes could ease the severe motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease as effectively as a much more intrusive procedure currently in clinical use, according to a new study in rodents. If the findings are confirmed in humans, scientists say, the procedure could dramatically improve treatment for the disease by making electrical therapies safer and more broadly available.

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Novelty Seekers Driven By Decreased Ability To Process Dopamine

Novelty Seekers Driven By Decreased Ability To Process Dopamine 

 

For risk-takers and impulsive people, New Year’s resolutions often include being more careful, spending more frugally and cutting back on dangerous behavior, such as drug use. But new research from Vanderbilt finds that these individuals–labeled as novelty seekers by psychologists–face an uphill battle in keeping their New Year’s resolutions due to the way their brains process dopamine. The research reveals that novelty seekers have less of a particular type of dopamine receptor, which may lead them to seek out novel and exciting experiences–such as spending lavishly, taking risks and partying like there’s no tomorrow.

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Vitamin D And Sun Exposure Play A Role In Disease Prevention

Vitamin D And Sun Exposure Play A Role In Disease Prevention

The sun is a natural and effective source of Vitamin D that we need to protect our bones, protect us from auto-immune diseases, help prevent Alzheimers disease, and protect us from certain kinds of cancers. Deficiencies in vitamin D are highly-linked to these diseases. Now, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to Parkinson’s Disease.

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