THE CONVERSATION | To cure brain diseases, neuroscientists must collaborate: That’s why I’m giving my data away

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Published: 8Jul2019

Thomas Durcan, professor at the Montréal Neurological Institute of McGill University is growing stem cells in a dish to develop better treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is an age-related movement disorder, characterized by rigidity and tremor, caused a loss of dopaminergic neurons over time. L-DOPA remains the most effective therapy for Parkinson’s. But it was discovered back in the 1960s and no other disease-modifying therapy has emerged since then.

Durcan says this is partly due to the complexity of the disease, but also because we haven’t done a good enough job sharing our protocols and data in an open and accessible manner, so others can take the next step forward and avoid making the same mistakes or repeating the same experiments over and over again.

"That’s why I’m giving my lab’s standard methods away over the next year — making them available to anyone who would like to access them."

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