NWPF

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

Aug 24 - Study Details Process Involved in Parkinson’s Disease
Aug 20 - Two proteins work together to help cells eliminate trash; Parkinson's may result
Aug 17 - Scientists visualize critical part of basal ganglia pathways
Aug 17 - VA benefits office seeks all vets exposed to Agent Orange
Aug 12 - New, rapid dementia screening tool rivals 'gold standard' clinical evaluations
Aug 11 - Strolling in Seaside, fighting Parkinson's
Aug 11 - Scientists probing molecular origins of Parkinson's disease highlight two proteins
Aug 11 - Could Chocolate Help To Ease Parkinson’s Disease?
Aug 10 - Take 2: Why Seattle should try to replicate Spokane’s 3-on-3 Hoopfest success
Aug 10 - Book Review: A voyage into Parkinson’s disease, led by patient and journalist
Aug 10 - Parkinson's could be slowed with existing drug
Aug 7 - Opinion: Why modern life is making dementia in your 40s more likely
Aug 3 - Software Turns Smartphones into Tools for Medical Research
Jul 31 - Innovative Technology Using Dragonflies Might Offer Insights Into Human Brain Function
Jul 27 - Low-dose lithium reduces side effects from most common treatment for Parkinson's disease
Jul 27 - Opinion: Parkinson's disease creating class of workers who fear for their jobs: PennLive letters
Jul 22 - Parkinson's: Diabetes drug may offer clue to treatment
Jul 19 - Alzheimer's Drugs in the Works Might Treat Other Diseases, Too
Jul 17 - Parkinson's disease may be treatable with antimalaria drugs
Jul 16 - Virtual research studies feasible