Scientists Developing Stem Cell Cure for Machado-Joseph Disease

TEHRAN (ANA)- A team of Portuguese scientists at the University of Coimbra (UC) has successfully generated human stem cells from skin cells, which could help fight against the neurodegenerative disease SCA3.

The research by the team at the University of Coimbra (UC) paves the way for a treatment for the disease to be developed. Also known as Machado-Joseph,SCA3 affects movement and verbal articulation, the Xinhua reported.

The discovery "shows that it is possible to create stem cells from cells extracted from people with Machado-Joseph disease," explained UC researcher Liliana Mendonca.

"Our discovery demonstrates the feasibility of applying personalized therapies to people with this disease," Mendonca said, which will result in "greater acceptance of transplantation."

Stem cells have enormous versatility, allowing them to give rise to specialized cells of various tissues and organs of the human body.

There is still no cure for Machado-Joseph disease, with the cerebellum being one of the most-affected regions of the brain.

It is characterized by extensive neuronal death, and difficulties in motor coordination, swallowing, and speech articulation.

"There is a high need to develop therapeutic strategies that can treat neurodegenerative diseases, which robustly improve the quality of life of patients, thus contributing to reducing the burdens of healthcare systems and the families of these patients," Mendonca underlined.


Source: ANA