Astrocytes are one of the major non-neuron cell types in the brain and control many neurological processes. They are likely to be changed in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and may contribute to neurological problems.
Changes occur in human astrocytes in Parkinson’s disease.
We are using a new technique that involves isolating cell nuclei from human brain tissue that has been frozen and stored. Nuclei contain our cell’s DNA but also RNA (the gene’s messengers), which can show the genes that individual cell is activating. We will concentrate on astrocytes, but will also get gene expression patterns for all cell types in the brain.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
If we discover how astrocytes (and other cells) are changed during Parkinson’s disease, we will be better able to develop therapeutic strategies for overcoming and possibly reversing these deleterious changes.
Next Steps for Development:
Our hope is that the new knowledge, which will lead to a better understanding of the disease, will lead to new therapeutic strategies.