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Parkinsons Disease

Stem Cell Experiment Offers Hope to Parkinsons Patients

16 years, 11 months ago

1898  0
Posted on Oct 04, 2002, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers have managed to improve Parkinson's-like symptoms of rats by implanting embryonic stem cells into their brains. Tests showed that the implanted cells were able to differentiate into the dopamine-producing neurons that are destroyed by the neurodegenerative disease. Furthermore, scans of the rats brain revealed that the new cells successfully integrated into the dopamine circuitry of the brain.

Researchers have managed to improve Parkinson's-like symptoms of rats by implanting embryonic stem cells into their brains. Tests showed that the implanted cells were able to differentiate into the dopamine-producing neurons that are destroyed by the neurodegenerative disease. Furthermore, scans of the rats brain revealed that the new cells successfully integrated into the dopamine circuitry of the brain. According to study leader Dr Ole Isacson, the study is the first of its kind improve Parkinson's-like symptoms with stem cells that formed dopamine-producing cells. However, the experiment was not all smooth running as several rats had to be killed after they developed tumor-like growths around the transplant site - a factor which is of major concern to scientists.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition 2002;10: 1073

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