Research Underway on Space Station Looking at Cellular Triggers of MS and Parkinson’s

Research Underway on Space Station Looking at Cellular Triggers of MS and Parkinson’s

Publication date: Aug 06, 2019

An ongoing experiment at the International Space Station may help identify triggers for multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease by studying how nerve cells and immune cells interact when exposed to microgravity. Knowledge gained is expected to help scientists understand how nerve and immune brain cells interact with each other and in ways that damage the nervous system, leading to neurodegenerative diseases. To understand why this happens, researchers are focusing on brain cells involved in Parkinson’s and MS. In both diseases, damage to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is thought to happen due to flaws in a person’s immune system. Specifically, researchers will study two cell types – nerve cells (or neurons), and microglia, supportive immune cells that patrol the brain and defend it from threatening invaders like bacteria and viruses. -The microglia are found in every part of the brain, and it’s really starting to look like neurodegenerative illnesses develop because the cells begin behaving improperly or overreacting,” said Valentina Fossati, PhD, an MS researcher at New York Stem Foundation Research Institute, and a study co-leader. Neurons and microglia from MS and Parkinson’s patients, alongside cells from healthy people of the same age, were launched aboard the SpaceX CRS-18 cargo flight on July 31 and are now at the space station, inside a CubeLab system developed by Space Tango.

Concepts Keywords
Aspen Gene expression
Bacteria Radiation
Brain Beth Stevens
Central Nervous System Microglia
Earth Glial cells
Embryonic Stem Cell Radiation
Gene Parkinsons disease
Gravity Parkinsons MS diseases
Immune System
Interact
International Space Station
Microglia
Microgravity
Multiple Sclerosis
NASA
Nerve
Nervous System
Neurodegenerative
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurons
Organ
Parkinson
PhD
Pluripotent
Protein
Space Radiation
Space Station
SpaceX
Spinal Cord
Viruses

Semantics

Type Source Name
gene UNIPROT PDC
pathway BSID Neurodegenerative Diseases
disease MESH neurodegenerative diseases
gene UNIPROT MAGEE1
pathway BSID Gene Expression
disease DOID multiple sclerosis
disease MESH multiple sclerosis
gene UNIPROT LAT2
pathway BSID Immune System
drug DRUGBANK Fenpropidin
gene UNIPROT MIA3
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide

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