Researchers in Japan have uncovered a breakthrough Stem Cell Treatment for parkinson’s disease, reported Science Immunology. The procedure involves reprogramming induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and injecting dopaminergic progenitors, a cell type that develops into dopamine-producing neurons into the forebrain. This discovery of parkinson’s Stem Cell Treatment by Jun Takahashi, a neurosurgeon at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), is based on reviving depleted specialized cells in the brain responsible for producing neurotransmitter dopamine. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the depletion of dopamine in the brain, which disables motor skills, thus resulting in difficulties walking as well as trembling, and if left untreated could cause dementia.
The researchers found Stem Cell Therapy for parkinson’s disease in which they could take neurological material from iPS cells or mature cells that can be chemically manipulated to return to its embryonic stem- cell like stage and become differentiated into any of the body’s specialized cells, according to Science Immunology.
Parkinson’s disease stem cell clinical trials are based on the derivation of dopaminergic progenitors, the dopamine-producing neurons, from iPS cells and injecting them into the putamen, a round structure located at the base of the forebrain. Two small holes are drilled by surgeons through the patient’s skull, with a specialized device injecting around five million cells. The parkinson’s Stem Cell Treatment was also used in animals, whereby dopaminergic neurons was found to differentiate into progenitors inside the body and inserted into the brain. The researchers reported in 2017 that monkeys with parkinson’s disease showed significant improvement after getting injections of neurons taken from human iPS cells, lasting for two years.
Rather than make a specific iPS cells for each patient, CiRA researchers instead took stocks of iPS cells from healthy donors with specific cell types. “Using stocks of cells, we can proceed much more quickly and cost-effectively,” CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka, who discovered how to create iPS cells, told Science in 2017. To counter the risk of immune rejection, all patients will receive a common immunosuppressant in along with the progenitors.
The stem cell research for parkinson’s disease was the third human trial using iPS cells approved in Japan. The first was researched in 2014 by using retinal cells derived from iPS cells to replace eye tissue damaged by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), led by Masayo Takahashi, Jun Takahashi’s wife of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe. The AMD treatment was reported to be safe with one case reporting adverse effects. Another team at Osaka University in Japan won conditional approval for the first clinical study iPS cell–based study for treating heart failure in May.
Currently, there are no cures for Parkinson’s disease, but drugs and deep brain stimulation are some of the methods currently used to alleviate symptoms.
H/T: Science Mag