Study Confirms Long-term Stem Cell Benefits for Parkinson’s Disease

Newly reported research discovered neural dopamine-producing stem cells transplanted into patients with Parkinson’s disease stayed healthy and functional for up to 14 years.  The findings were reported in the June 5, 2014 issue of the journal Cell Reports.  This is exciting news for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Researchers studied the brains of five Parkinson’s Disease patients who received got neural cell transplants and found that their dopamine transporters and mitochondria remained healthy when the patients died.  All of the patients were in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease at the time of their transplants.  In each case, death was from a cause unrelated to Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson's Disease Tremor

Parkinson’s tremors can make even simple tasks difficult.

Parkinson’s is a disease characterized by tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and poor balance. It is a chronic, progressive disease that results when dopamine-producing nerve cells in a part of the brain die or are impaired.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Parkinson’s Disease is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States.

Scientists have known for some time that transplanted neural stem cells can reduce Parkinson’s Disease symptoms for long periods of time.  However, there were questions about whether the transplanted cells remained can The procedure can also reduce the need for patients to take dopamine replacement medications.

“We have shown in this paper that the transplanted cells connect and live well and do all the required functions of nerve cells for a very long time,” said Ole Isacson, MD, professor of neurology and a director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital.

Among other reasons, this research is important because scientists previously believed transplanted stem cells could be damaged by the ongoing disease process in the brain. Describing the dopamine transporters and mitochondria cells in the brains studied, Dr. Isacson commented, “Everything we saw looked very healthy.”  He went on to say that comparisons of the transplanted cells with the patients’ own dopamine producing cells showed significant differences.  In each case, the patients’ own dopamine cells and mitochondria continued to show damage from the disease, but the transplanted cells were still healthy.  “The transplanted cells don’t have the disease,” he said.

 “We have shown in this paper that the transplanted cells connect and live well and do all the required functions of nerve cells for a very long time,” he said in a press release.

Destination Medical Care™ Treatment Outcomes for Parkinson’s Disease

Soter Healthcare has been providing access to life-changing stem cell therapy since 2008.  Our Destination Medical Care™ center of excellence has treated more than 500 cases of Parkinson’s Disease using stem cells.  Over 90% of patients treated have shown an improvement in their conditions, and more than 85% have achieved significant improvement.  Among the improvements are a reduction in tremors, improved muscle tone, better balance and walking ability, and improvements in speech.

Stem Cell Sources

Stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s Disease involves transplants of neural and/or hRPE stem cells from donor tissues.  Soter Healthcare has developed a unique relationship with a stem cell center that respects the right to life as our Christian faith defines it for us.  Consequently, only tissues obtained from natural causes are used (e.g., miscarriage, fatality following premature birth).  We do not allow use of cells following clinical abortion under any circumstances.

Contact Us for more information

If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or you know someone who has, please contact us today to start learning how this important advance in treatment can help.

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