"Stem cell therapy is an enthralling new achievement for the management of Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Stacy, the Vice Dean for Clinical Research, Neurology at Duke University School of Medicine.
According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson's disease in the U.S. alone affects one in 100 people over 60 and 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. Additionally, today's best Parkinson's drug was discovered in 1967.
Fast forward to 2013, stem cells offer a window into brain degenerating Parkinson's disease. Scientists have found stem cells to be especially promising for treating rapidly-progressing diseases. Current findings propose that stem cells are appropriate in the management of neurodegenerative disorders.
Mesenchymal stem cells are the multipotent cells and precursors for the important cells of the central nervous system. Researchers have found that these stem cells self-renew and provide a therapeutic effect by differentiating into dopaminergic neurons and expressing neurotrophic factors e.g. brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). All these facilitate protection of the nigrostriatal system thus offering a revolutionary and new prospect for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, particularly in cases where existing dopamine-replacement approaches remain unsuccessful to satisfactorily combat the symptoms. (PD is the result of loss of dopamine-generating cells in the nigrostriatal system).
Kitada M and Dezawa M, the two prominent researchers of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan, noted that cell transplantation holds a great potential for treating Parkinson's disease, and numerous other diseases. According to them, the stem cells are easily accessible and are devoid of serious technical and ethical problems and are the appropriate candidates for transplantation. Stem cell therapy is a unique way to repair or replace the damaged or dead cells in the disease process, and re-establish cell function and alleviate symptoms. Thus, such cells may bring about improvement in clinical manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases and neural injuries.
An independent U.S. based company has observed researcher's findings to be accurate while working with patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The majority of patients with Parkinson's disease who have undergone this therapy are progressively reporting a reduction of their symptoms and improvement of their quality of living.
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Video with caption: "Stem Cell Therapy - A Solution For Parkinson's Disease A Computer Graphic visualization of a Brain cell synapse showing chemical messengers or neurotransmitters released from pre-synaptic neuron to be received by the post-synaptic nerve cell receptor." Video available at: http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/FX-MM02678-20131023-03.mp4