The first patients received Parkinson's disease cell therapy.

Original author: Paul Knoepfler
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Patients with Parkinson’s disease develop neurological dysfunction because they lose special brain cells called dopaminergic neurons. Different ways of treating this disease have been studied for decades, but nothing has been particularly successful in slowing its development. As a result, there was a great need for a new way of dealing with Parkinson's disease, including through stem cells.
One of the most interesting techniques would be the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) or embryonic stem cells (ESC) in order to grow neurons or their predecessors, which would then be transplanted into the brain of patients. IPSC solutions can potentially be autologous — taken from a patient and not requiring immunosuppression, and ESC solutions are likely to require immunosuppression, but may have other advantages.

A fascinating image of the brain of primates treated by progenitor cells derived from iPSC. Significantly increased activity associated with dopamine receptors. Publication in Nature in 2017 of the group led by Parmar and Takahashi

A number of groups are engaged in “stem cells as the basis of Parkinson's treatment,” and the group of Jun Takahashi in Japan was the first to start a trial just a few weeks ago at their first participant.

This is a historic moment with high hopes and great risks. Hope and risk often go hand in hand in clinical trials. As in other tests, this has a chance not to work, but I believe that he has a good chance of success, based on preliminary information and scientific logic.

Although the testIt was officially launched in July, we now know that the first patient was treated in October. From the Siranoski publication:
“In October, neurosurgeon Takayuki Kikuchi, at Kyoto University Hospital, implanted 2.4 million progenitor cells of dopaminergic neurons in a patient’s 50-year-old brain. In a three-hour procedure, the Kikuchi group introduced cells into 12 sites that were centers of dopamine activity. It was shown that dopaminergic neuron progenitor cells improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in monkeys . ”
In the test using allogeneic donor cells.

Other teams include Joan Loring at Scripps, focusing on autologous methods based on iPSC , Lorenz Steder, who focuses on using methods based on ESC , Roger Barker from Cambridge and Malin Parmar at Lund University. The international collaborative group is called GForce-PD .

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