News ArchivesRead News

Cell Transplants Have Been Found To Help Parkinson's Disease-Affected Brains

Friday June 06, 2014

Chris Pash

Business Insider Australia - A cell transplant method has been proven to work for at least Parkinson’s disease sufferers .

Researchers have found that dopamine neurons derived from fetal tissue can remain healthy for many years when transplanted into the midbrains of adult patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The tremors and other symptoms which characterise Parkinson’s disease result from the loss of dopamine-producing neurons.

Neuron transplantation can replace failing neurons with healthy ones from a donor source, but there were questions about the health of those transplanted cells over time.

Fetal cell transplants can reduce both Parkinson’s symptoms for many years and can reduce the need for dopamine replacement drugs, even though they can take months or years to start working.

The findings, reported in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, suggest that transplanted neurons don’t degenerate over time as some had feared they would, which provides further rationale for pursuing stem cells as a source for transplant-ready dopamine neurons.

“Our findings show a robust expression of dopamine transporters and a lack of abnormal mitochondrial morphology in implanted dopamine neurons for at least 14 years after transplantation,” said Ole Isacson of Harvard University and McLean Hospital.

Isacson said it is now clear fetal cell transplantation has been beneficial for patients with
Parkinson’s disease.

Some patients have continued to improve clinically for decades without any medication for the disease at all.

The therapeutic approach, in which a cell suspension derived from fetuses is injected directly into the relevant portion of the brain, has been offered to only a limited number of patients in clinical trials.

“Our findings are extremely encouraging and timely for the field of regenerative medicine and for advancing stem cell-derived dopamine neuron transplantation as a restoration therapy for Parkinson’s disease,” Isacson said.

Pash, Chris. (6 June 2014). Cell Transplants Have Been Found To Help Parkinson's Disease-Affected Brains. Business Insider Australia. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/cell-transplants-have-been-found-to-help-parkinsons-disease-affected-brains-2014-6

Recent News

Nov 22 - A caregiver's story: Living and loving through the slow process of dying
Nov 19 - Testosterone cause of sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests
Nov 18 - New strategy reduces side effects in Parkinson's treatment
Nov 14 - Opinion: The never-ending tests of Parkinson's disease
Nov 13 - Parkinson’s disease: A new tool for diagnosis
Nov 10 - Parkinson's Disease Drug May Be Useful For Delaying, Preventing Blindness In Older Population
Nov 9 - Microsoft VP’s diagnosis fuels employees’ heartfelt efforts to help others
Nov 6 - Lewy body dementia: unrecognized and misdiagnosed
Nov 5 - Gait difficulties in Parkinson's linked to new blood vessels in brain
Oct 30 - Special Section: Enabling Technologies for Parkinson’s Disease Management
Oct 27 - Scientists discover a 'switchboard' of molecules that protect against Parkinson's disease
Oct 26 - Dancing improves mobility and quality of life in people with Parkinson's
Oct 23 - The amazing woman who can smell Parkinson’s disease — before symptoms appear
Oct 20 - Personal Essay: The deviousness of dementia
Oct 19 - Mechanism that 'melts' protein clumps may lead to new Parkinson's treatments
Oct 19 - Researchers find that stem cell treatment may reduce cognitive impairment related to dementia with Lewy bodies
Oct 17 - Cancer Drug Helps Parkinson's Patients
Oct 12 - Researchers identify immune gene that can prevent Parkinson's disease and dementia
Oct 12 - Blog Post: An Alert, Well-Hydrated Artist in No Acute Distress
Oct 7 - This month, a brain surgery will be broadcast on live TV for the first time ever