Can stem cells help patients with Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative disease that causes symptoms such as tremors, difficulty with movements, loss of bodily functions, problems with speech and more. This is a condition that does not have a cure. However, with the potential that stem cells have with many other chronic conditions, it is now a main research area for Parkinson’s disease. With this disease, cells in the brain start to die, which is why motor functions, speech and more are affected. Find out how stem cells are helping in the development of medicines and treatments for Parkinson’s and how stem cells can help this condition.
To understand how stem cells can help patients with Parkinson’s, it is essential to grasp what Parkinson’s Disease does. Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nerve system disorder that is caused by the gradual loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical that is tasked with controlling movement and emotional responses. Approximately one million adults in the United States alone are thought to live with Parkinson’s Disease with more than 60,000 diagnosed annually.
So, since Parkinson’s Disease is triggered by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, the thought is to use human embryonic stem cells–which have the potential to become any cell of the body–as a source of new dopamine cells for those afflicted with Parkinson’s.
“In a major breakthrough for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, researchers working with laboratory rats show it is possible to make dopamine cells from embryonic stem cells and transplant them into the brain, replacing the cells lost to the disease,” writes Medical News Today, in November of 2014. That was four years ago.
So, how quickly can we expect to see this same lab success in a human? That step still has some hurdles to overcome.
For stem cell-based cell replacement therapies for Parkinson’s Disease to become a reality, there are certain things that have to transpire. Researchers have to generate strong cells–in both quality and quantity–that can live and perform as needed in a host brain. Researchers also have to determine if ES or IPS cells will be the best stem cell type to use in Parkinson’s treatment. To do the research required to discover these answers, researchers need “scientific freedom” i.e., legal rights, to pursue research on all types — including ES, adult and IPS cells. Scientists don’t have these freedoms yet.
Another challenge? Money. This type of scientific research that we are talking about is not cheap. In theory, a possible treatment method for Parkinson’s is at our fingertips, but proving it with an actual human success subject is still something Parkinson’s researchers are reaching for.
In December of 2017, International Stem Cell Corporation published the following about their current clinical study:
“The Phase I clinical study is a dose-escalation safety and preliminary efficacy study of ISC-hpNSC®, intracranially transplanted into 12 patients who have moderate-to-severe Parkinson’s Disease. The open-label, single center, uncontrolled clinical trial will evaluate three different dose regimens of 30 million to 70 million neural cells. Following transplantation, the patients will be monitored for 12 months at specified intervals to evaluate the safety and biologic activity of ISC-hpNSC®. PET scan will be performed at baseline as part of the screening assessment, and at six and 12 months after surgical intervention. Clinical responses compared to baseline after the administration of ISC-hpNSC® will be evaluated using various neurological assessments, such as the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn and Yahr, among others. Patients will be followed for 5 additional years to monitor safety and progression in neurological assessments.”
6 months into the clinical trials, scientists have been seeing some positive results with the study and the efficacy of treatment.
The future looks bright.
While Parkinson’s Treatment with Stem Cells isn’t currently available, there are many other applications that current stem cell therapy can treat.
We want to help all of our patients find healing and pain relief through natural, effective stem cell therapy. However, we also want to make sure our patients are candidates for stem cell therapy. With a medical evaluation at our office, we can assess your symptoms, chronic conditions and goals for the future. If we find that you are a candidate for stem cell therapy, we will start you on a treatment plan right away. Don’t let diseases, conditions with chronic pain, arthritis and more get you down! Call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016 and see what stem cell therapy can do for you!