Parkinson’s is one of those diseases that must be studied in human neurons because animal models that don’t have the parkin gene never develop the disease so they can’t be used. And of course we can’t just cut into people’s brains for scientific purposes.
Now, scientists have developed a way to grow donated human skin cells into brain cells that can show the parkin gene at work. This work may lead to being able to reverse this type (genetic mutation) of Parkinson’s, a type found in about one of every ten Parkinson’s patients.
The article doesn’t say, but I’m guessing this type of discovery has arisen directly out of stem cell research. One more utterly compelling reason to continue funding that work.