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Parkinsons Disease

Stem Cells Coaxed into Dopamine-Producing Brain Cells

21 years, 3 months ago

8727  0
Posted on Nov 22, 2002, 4 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists have managed to coax stem cells obtained from neurological tissue to develop into dopamine-producing brain cells. Dr Lorraine Iacovitti and colleagues at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, report that 25% of the human fetal stem cells developed into dopamine-producing cells.

Scientists have managed to coax stem cells obtained from neurological tissue to develop into dopamine-producing brain cells. Dr Lorraine Iacovitti and colleagues at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, report that 25% of the human fetal stem cells developed into dopamine-producing cells. However, when the team transplanted the cells into rats they tended to die off. Iacovitti suspects that this may have been because the cells were too mature to handle the switch from a lab dish into an animal. Thus, her next goal is to figure out the best time to transplant the cells into the rat so that they survive the ordeal. The findings suggest that stem cells could be used to treat Parkinson's disease, which is caused by the gradual destruction of dopamine cells, although Iacovitti warns that such treatments are some way off.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 8th November 2002

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