Until now, researchers looking at the effects of Parkinson's disease have been focusing on the function and development of neurons in the brain as it ages.
Now, because of a technique called "tissue slicing", scientists can watch as these cells develop, not just as they deteriorate, according to an article published in the world's only peer-reviewed science video journal, the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
"Little is known about the behavior of these neurons during their differentiation and migration phase," said article author Dr. Sandra Blaess, "and with this technique, we can really observe how these cells behave during development."
Being able to manipulate these cells on a genetic level could yield new information on how they develop, and that could lead to new and better treatments for this disease that afflicts 1.5 million Americans with 50-thousand new diagnoses every year.
"Being able to visualize cell development in this area of the brain is exciting," said JoVE Editor Dr. Claire Standen. "The availability of this technique could help scientists understand diseases of the dopaminergic system— such as Parkinson's."
The video is available at the JoVE website.