Stem Cells and Parkinson’s Disease. The frustration caused by the currently limited treatment options has led to a greater focus on stem cell replacement therapy.
This treatment aims to provide lasting relief from Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
First and foremost, approximately 5% of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease have an inherited genetic mutation. Scientists are investigating the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease in the other 95% of cases.
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.NIH
When researchers introduced dopamine into the central nervous system, they observed a decrease or reversal of symptoms. This suggests that if they can induce stem cells to become dopamine-producing neurons, these cells could replace damaged ones, leading to an improvement in function. In this scenario, researchers would target these transplanted cells specifically for the affected areas.
Umbilical Cord Cells
Researchers have shown that transplanting young brain cells derived from the human umbilical cord to Parkinson’s disease patients resulted in an improvement in disease-related symptoms.
Animal studies have demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells promote neuroprotection and neurodifferentiation by modulating neural stem cells, neurons, and glial cells, as well as promoting axonal growth.
Stem Cells and Parkinson’s Disease. Stem cells repair and regenerate neurons in the brain, reduce free radicals, improve synaptic connections, and regulate inflammation.
It is not entirely clear how mesenchymal stem cells perform these functions. One theory is that injected stem cells target the injured area and release trophic factors. Molecules support cell survival to help repair damaged cells.
Trophic factors can suppress the local immune system, form new blood vessels, reduce free radical levels, halt tissue damage, and increase the recruitment, retention, proliferation, and differentiation of stem cells.
In summary, it is important to highlight that animal models have shown that stem cell therapy is safe and effective.
Visit our article “What Are Stem Cells?” for more information.