New experimental treatment for Parkinson's disease, which involves the injection of millions of special stem cells into the brains of patients with the condition, is currently being tested in clinical trials.
A study that began in October led researchers at the Kyoto University in Japan. Meanwhile, researchers began to deal with one man in their 50s, according to the AFP.
Although previous studies have demonstrated stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease, the new study is the first to use so-called Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells or iPSC. These are "adult" cells (like blood or skin cells, unlike embryonic cells) that have been reprogrammed to resemble cells in early development and have the potential to form any cell type in the body.
For this study, researchers used iPSC to create "dopaminergic progenitor" cells or cells that produce brain cells that produce dopamine, the chemical in the brain that is needed to control muscle movement. In Parkinson's disease, brain cells that produce dopamine die, leading to symptoms such as tremors and difficulty in walking, movement and coordination. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain]
In a new study, scientists believe that these transplanted stem cells will help replace the lost dopamine-producing cells and restore dopamine production by The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Treatment was conducted by researchers injected with 2.4 million stem cells into the left side of the human brain in an operation lasting 3 hours, according to the AFP. The patient will now be monitored for side effects, and if there is no problem, scientists will introduce another 2.4 million stem cells into the right brain.
Researchers plan to enroll a total of seven patients and track patients for two years.
IPSCs were derived from donors, so patients will need to take drugs to suppress their immune system to prevent cell transplant rejection by the Kyoto University.
Originally published on Living science.