The repair of lesions of the brain by neuron transplants and hopes for people with Parkinson’s disease: two areas of research that are advancing, Poitiers.
It has been almost twenty years since Afsaneh Gaillard, university professor and head of the Inserm research team, worked day and (sometimes) night on the theme of repairing brain damage by neuron transplants. Injuries caused following a road accident or more generally following a traumatic shock.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, a scientific article published in the prestigious journal Nature neuroscience has shown that it is possible to repair brain damage in adults in the context of traumatic damage to the cortex. Knowing that the motor cortex controls motor skills. We have shown that these lesions can be repaired by grafting immature cells into the damaged region, explains university professor Afsaneh Gaillard. This publication was rated best publication in neuroscience in 2007 by the Socit franaise de neurosciences. It opened up the line of research in this theme, which until then had been condemned without a solution through research.
However, it will take about ten additional years to validate the right time for the transplant, the most effective moment, specifies the person in charge of the team. This opens up prospects for application in humans, assures the academic. Who, with his team and in collaboration with Belgian researchers, wondered about the sources of the cells used. Using embryonic stem cells, the researchers have developed a recipe for transforming them into cortical neurons. Publications support in Nature to validate the thesis. The team went above and beyond to achieve a successful transplant: We sought to improve it by a combination of cortical neurons derived from stem cells and bio materials, which are synthetic biological substances, emphasizes Afsaneh Gaillard. With a very encouraging result, with a double the effectiveness of the repair, I think this leaves some hope for the cure of traumatic injury patients. Another line of research is Parkinson’s disease, which results in the deterioration of dopamine neurons in an area of the brain (called substantia nigra). Based on this observation that dopamine controls motor skills and that the movement disorder is due to the lack of dopamine, the Poitou research team grafted dopamine neurons obtained from skin cells transformed into stem cells.
My team is interested in the replacement of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra unlike the international teams which favor the target region where dopamine is free. We have shown that neurons grafted into substantia nigra are able to send extensions to the target region to release dopamine, notes the researcher. This research will soon be the subject of a new publication in a scientific journal.