Testing a Parkinson’s cure


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In Japan, a human clinical trial is underway to test a possible cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers will inject human stem cells directly into the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers, specifically into an area of the brain known to be a core location for developing the illness.

The researchers reprogrammed stem cells to develop neurons that make dopamine, a key signaling chemical involved in the voluntary control of muscle movement. Parkinson’s is defined in large part by the brain’s inability to make dopamine.

Surgeons will drill two small paths in patients’ heads and inject about five million stem cells into the target region.

The same tests, using human stem cells in monkeys afflicted with Parkinson’s found that the monkeys showed significant improvement from the treatment for at least two years afterwards.


TRENDPOST

Cases of Parkinson’s Disease among men increased 69 percent in the US from 1976-2005, with 60,000 more people each year developing the condition. Worldwide, more than 10 million people are living with Parkinson’s. This innovative stem cell procedure could provide a route to improved quality of life and even a genuine cure. Tissue, replacing ailing parts, is key to defeating disease and the infirmities of old age, opening an almost limitless market.

More broadly, researchers are testing stem cell treatments for everything from heart disease to schizophrenia. Using the body’s own ability to generate healthy tissue, replacing ailing parts, is key to defeating disease and the infirmities of old age, opening an almost limitless market.

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