News ArchivesRead News
Implanted eye cells eased Parkinson’s
Thursday December 22, 2005
December 19, 2005(Reuters Health) - A handful of people with Parkinson’s disease showed marked improvement after surgeons implanted in their brains chemical-producing cells taken from the eye of a dead donor, researchers said last week.
Cells from the inner, or pigment, layer of the eye’s retina make levodopa, which Parkinson’s patients commonly take in pill form to replace lost production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine allows the brain to control the body’s movements.
For most patients, levodopa pills lose their effectiveness within five years, and larger and larger doses are needed to curb the involuntary movements and shaking symptomatic of the disease.
Many people on the drug develop involuntary writhing or dance-like movements.
The retina cells were cultivated and implanted in the brains of six patients with advanced Parkinson’s, researcher Natividad Stover of the University of Alabama said.
One year later, the patients scored 48 percent higher on tests of movement and coordination, and the improvement was sustained after two years, Stover wrote in the journal Archives of Neurology.
’’The implants were well tolerated," the report said. Improvement was also observed in daily living and quality of life.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease in which key brain cells that produce dopamine die off. Symptoms start with tremors and rigidity, and patients can end up paralyzed. The cause of the disease, which attacks 2 percent of men and 1.3 percent of women, is unknown, and there is no cure.
Some scientists have viewed implanting fetal stem cells into the brains of Parkinson’s patients as a promising avenue to restore dopamine production. But preliminary human trials were disappointing, and animal experiments have yielded mixed results.
Other treatments showing promise include deep brain stimulation with implanted electrodes, drugs that promote brain cell growth, and gene therapy.
The researchers said a larger study has been started to test the efficacy and safety of retina cell implants.
Recent NewsMar 20 - March 20, 2018 News Update
Mar 13 - March 13, 2018 News Update
Mar 6 - March 6, 2018 News Update
Feb 27 - February 27, 2018 News Update
Feb 20 - February 20, 2018 News Update
Feb 13 - February 13, 2018 News Update
Feb 6 - February 6, 2018 News Update
Jan 30 - January 30, 2018 News Update
Jan 23 - January 23, 2018 News Update
Jan 16 - January 16, 2018 News Update
Jan 9 - January 9, 2018 News Update
Jan 2 - January 2, 2018 News Update
Dec 26 - December 26, 2017 News Update
Dec 19 - December 19, 2017 News Update
Dec 8 - New technique scours the genome for genes that combat disease
Dec 8 - Restless sleep may be an early sign of Parkinson's, dementia
Dec 1 - Defects in cell's 'waste disposal system' linked to Parkinson's
Dec 1 - Dual virtual reality/treadmill exercises promote brain plasticity in Parkinson's patients
Nov 17 - 'Moving Day' participant is not letting young-onset Parkinson's disease stop him
Nov 17 - Focused ultrasound shows promise for treating Parkinson's tremor