Many people with Parkinson’s have a problem with their sense of smell. Scientists in recent years have identified the olfactory bulb as a place where new nervous system cells can be generated. Some think the two facts are related.
With the discovery that both GABA-ergic and, now, glutamatergic cells are generated in this area in mice, how long will it take to discover that, maybe, dopaminergic cells can be generated in this region, too?
The findings are significant because it would open up another possible line of attack toward a cure in humans: by stimulating the body’s own production of the specific type of cell that is being killed off in Parkinson’s. Converting stem cells in a laboratory is diabolically difficult, despite the headlines. Stimulating cell growth in the patient reduces the risk of tissue rejection and moots the whole stem-cell issue.