American researchers have linked the levels of the cannabis-like chemicals in the brain to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers at the Stanford University Medical Center conducted a test on mice having a condition similar to Parkinson’s. First, the mice were given a dose of an existing drug, which showed slight changes in their condition. But when they added the experimental drug, the breakdown of the endocannabinoids stopped in the mice and enabled them to move around freely. The researchers feel that further studies will enable them to develop new and more effective drugs.
Another encouraging study that took place in Canada has raised hopes for the development of the cure for Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is caused when the huntingtin protein gets clustered in the wrong area of the brain cells. The researchers have found that the protein sequences of the huntingtin protein cause this to occur. As a result, the brain cells fail to perform their functions and later die. The research group is currently exploring ways to develop new drugs for the treatment of Huntington's disease.
Meanwhile, American scientists conducted an experiment studying the damage caused by toxicants on stem cells. Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, exposed an advanced variety of stem cells, known as glial progenitors, to small amounts of lead, mercury and paraquat. The toxic substances prevented the splitting up of stem cells and shut them down. According to the researchers, this can have a significant impact on a person’s development, especially in the early stages of life. The scientists aim to recognize the specific molecular pathway of the toxins and find a way to safeguard the stem cells.
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