Modeling the effects of probiotics in Parkinson’s disease through human stem cell derived midbrain organoids

New studies have implicated the gut as the staging area for the start of Parkinson’s disease. Disruptions in the gut biota can promote the formation of toxic protein seeds that can move from the gut into the brain, spreading through the brain and causing progressive loss of neurons and problems with movement. It still needs to be proven if probiotics can help treat disease. We propose to examine this idea by testing how probiotics influence the function of neurons and other brain cells. Moreover, we will do so in 3D minibrain structures, a complex mix of neurons and support cells that is as close to a brain in a dish model as can be grown with current technology. In this study, we will study how the cells in the minibrain structures respond to probiotics and use this as a foundation to understand the gut-brain axis in Parkinson’s disease.

Intern: 
David Kalaydijian
Faculty Supervisor: 
Thomas Durcan
Province: 
Quebec
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