Tagged: B cells

Natural (born) killers

 

Today’s post starts with more of a biology lesson than usual, but it is important to understand where in the grand scheme of things a certain type of blood cell sits.

That type of blood cell has a really cool name: Natural killer cells.

Recently researchers at the University of Georgia (USA) published a report suggesting that natural killer cells may be a key player in the immune system response to Parkinson’s.

Specifically, they found that natural killer cell numbers are higher in disease-affected parts of the Parkinsonian brain, and that natural killer cells digest free floating alpha synuclein aggregates.

In today’s post, we will discuss what natural killer cells are, review this new research report, and explore what this new finding could mean for Parkinson’s.

 


Milestone! Source: Smilingkidsindy

My daughter recently lost her first tooth, and there was a bit of blood. We patched her up, but also took advantage of the moment to learn a little something about how the body works.

Me: Do you know what that red stuff is?

Little monster: Is it blood?

Me: That’s right.

Little monster: Am I going to die? (accompanied with a sudden and very concerned look on her face)

Me: No.

Extremely relieved little monster: Papa, where does blood come from?

And that was when I got all excited, and pulled out my black board.

Admittedly it took a while, but this was the answer I gave her:

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Keep your sights on lymphocytes

Recently new research has been published that raises the question (again) as to whether there is something wrong with the immune system in Parkinson’s 

Researchers from Germany and San Diego (USA) have published data suggesting that a particular type of blood cell may be acting up in Parkinson’s, getting involved with the neurodegenerative process that characterises the condition.

In their report they also found a clinically available treatment – called Secukinumab – that could reduce the effect.

In today’s post, we will look at what lymphocytes are, how they may be playing a role in Parkinson’s, and explain how secukinumab could potentially aid us in the treatment of PD.


Ouch! Source: CT

My 5 year old recently cut her leg, and there was a bit of blood. We patched her up with a plaster, but also took advantage of the moment to learn a little something about how the body works.

Me: Do you know what that red stuff is?

Little monster: It is blood?

Me: That’s right.

Little monster: Papa, where does blood come from?

That was when I got all excited, and pulled out my black board.

This was the answer I gave her:

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The Llama-nation of Parkinson’s disease

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The clustering of a protein called alpha synuclein is one of the cardinal features of the brain of a person with Parkinson’s disease.

Recently published research has demonstrated that tiny antibodies (called nanobodies) derived from llamas (yes, llamas) are very effective at reducing this clustering of alpha synuclein in cell culture models of Parkinson’s disease. 

In today’s post, we will discuss the science, review the research and consider what it could all mean for Parkinson’s disease.


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Llama. Source: Imagesanimals

Ok, I confess: This post has been partly written purely because I really like llamas. And I’m not ashamed to admit it either.

I mean, look at them! They are fantastic:

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Source: Vogue

Very cute. But what does this have to do with Parkinson’s disease?

Indeed. Let’s get down to business.

This post has also been written because llamas have a very interesting biological characteristic that is now being exploited in many areas of medical research, including for Parkinson’s disease.

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