CANBERRA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have received funding to undertake an in-vitro study of live brain cells in Parkinson's disease patients.
Cedric Bardy, leader of the study from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), said the team was granted funding from Perpetual IMPACT Philanthropy to discover new molecular targets to treat Parkinson's.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which causes uncontrollable shaking and behavioural problems. The SAHMRI said 32 Australians are diagnosed with the disease every day.
One of the major issues in developing cures for the disease is a lack of access to live neurons to study the disease and test new drugs.
Bardy's team has developed a platform on which live human neurons can be developed and will use the platform to compare biological differences between neurons from Parkinson's patients and healthy subjects.
To generate the brain tissue used for the study, the SAHMRI team uses state-of-the-art cell biology technology to reprogram skin cells into stem cells in a petri dish.
"We have wasted too much energy and often created false hope in rushing through clinical trials that have failed. We need to rethink our strategy, and I believe developing better and more realistic human pre-clinical models is the key to increasing our chances of translational success," Bardy said in a statement on Friday.
"This work is critical in laying the foundations for screening new therapeutics that are needed to stop the debilitating progression of Parkinson's. If successful for this Parkinson's project, our approach may be extended to all kinds of brain disorders."