Growing brain cells from urine may help cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Talk about having your head in the gutter.

Along with body waste, human urine actually contains patient-specific cells that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

Chinese scientists believe that this could be the key to curing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

AsianScientist reported that Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health scientists led by Professor Pei Duanquing have developed a method "to generate neural progenitor cells from epithelial-like cells in human urine."

Neural progenitor cells help maintain the health of the brain and spinal cord by replacing old cells.

Meanwhile, epithelial cells line the cavities of structures in the body.

“We envision that our protocols can be further applied to human urine cells isolated from patients with neural disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative diseases," Pei told Nature Methods.

"These patient-specific cells should be useful for modeling disease and for drug screening,” the authors wrote in the paper," he added. — TJD, GMA News