Stem Cells to Help Create Personalized Parkinson's Treatment
Using stem cells, a nationwide team of scientists have been able to isolate the disease outside the human body, allowing them to test different variables and find better treatments.
What's the Latest Development?
A nationwide team of scientists, led by a member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), have successfully used stem cells to further the goal of creating personalized medical treatments for Parkinson's disease. "The team of scientists created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from the skin cells of patients and at-risk individuals carrying genetic mutations implicated in Parkinson’s disease, and used those cells to derive neural cells, providing a platform for studying the disease in human cells outside of patients." Ole Isacson, a leader of the study and HSCI principal faculty member, said: "This is the first comprehensive study of how human neuronal cells can be models of Parkinson’s, and how it might be treated."
What's the Big Idea?
Because scientists were able to isolate the disease outside the body with the help of stem cells, they could control for certain variables which allowed them to test treatments in a more systematic way. "This study points the way to screening patients with Parkinson’s for their particular variation of the disease, and then treating them with drugs shown effective to work on that variation, rather than trying to treat all patients with the same drugs, as is generally done now." While different patients with the same neurological disease have typically received the same treatment, they may have the disease for different reasons, meaning different solutions may be warranted.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Big tech is making its opening moves into the health care scene, but its focus on tech-savvy millennials may miss the mark.
- Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been busy investing in health care companies, developing new apps, and hiring health professionals for new business ventures.
- Their current focus appears to be on tech-savvy millennials, but the bulk of health care expenditures goes to the elderly.
- Big tech should look to integrating its most promising health care devise, the smartphone, more thoroughly into health care.
Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.
- Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
- The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
- The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Here's why universal basic income will hurt the 99%, and make the 1% even richer.
- Universal basic income is a band-aid solution that will not solve wealth inequality, says Rushkoff.
- Funneling money to the 99% perpetuates their roles as consumers, pumping money straight back up to the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
- Rushkoff suggests universal basic assets instead, so that the people at the bottom of the pyramid can own some means of production and participate in the profits of mega-rich companies.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.