A typical treatment at one of these clinics involves removing fat cells from the abdomen some clinics remove bone marrow or blood for this procedure , treating the cells in various ways in order to isolate mesenchymal stem cells or stromal cells from the removed tissue, and finally injecting these cells back into the body. The cells are re-introduced into the body in different locations into the bloodstream, cerebral spinal fluid, nose, eye, etc. Such treatments are performed for a fee, sometimes a large one, and are not covered by insurance. Commercial clinics do not as a rule publish their results in peer-reviewed journals to demonstrate to the scientific community that the treatments work. Rather, they usually rely on anecdotes from patients as proof of efficacy.
Parkinson's: How stem cells can help repair the brain
World's first clinical trial to treat Parkinson’s disease with stem cells - Science in the News
Metrics details. Stem cells hold tremendous promise for regenerative medicine because they can be expanded infinitely, giving rise to large numbers of differentiated cells required for transplantation. Stem cells can be derived from fetal sources, embryonic origins embryonic stem cells or ESCs or reprogrammed from adult cell types induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs. One unique property of stem cells is their ability to be directed towards specific cell types of clinical interest, and can mature into functional cell types in vivo.
First-of-its-kind clinical trial will use reprogrammed adult stem cells to treat Parkinson’s
The rationale behind the use of cells as therapeutic modalities for neurodegenerative diseases in general, and in Parkinson's disease PD in particular, is that they will improve patient's functioning by replacing the damaged cell population. It is reasoned that these cells will survive, grow neurites, establish functional synapses, integrate best and durably with the host tissue mainly in the striatum, renew the impaired wiring, and lead to meaningful clinical improvement. To increase the generation of dopamine, researchers have already transplanted non-neuronal cells, without any genetic manipulation or after introduction of genes such as tyrosine hydroxylase, in animal models of PD.
The NIH warn that the prevalence of this neurodegenerative condition is only going to increase unless researchers come up with new and better treatments. Currently, the most common therapy uses the drug levodopa to stimulate dopamine production in certain neurons associated with motor skills. These dopaminergic neurons are situated in the nigrostriatal pathway , which is a brain circuit that connects neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta with the dorsal striatum. However, levodopa has a wide array of side effects , from physiological to psychological ones.