Japanese researchers from Kyoto University aim to conduct clinical research on a possible therapy for Parkinson's disease involving transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cells.
Parkinson's disease, affecting one in two hundred people, is a degenerative brain disease that involves loss of dopamine-making neurons which results in tremors, rigidity, slow movements and other neurological symptoms.
Induced pluripotent stem cells are produced from mature cells of the body, usuallyblood or skin cells— that undergo genetic reprogramming that gives them properties of embryonic stem cells the major of those being ability to give rise to multiple cell types, or pluripotency. These cells have potential for treating various diseases, including those that cannot be cured with conventional medicine. .
The Japanese reseachers report they have found way to turn induced pluripotent stem cells into dopamine-making nerve cells – those that get lost in Parkinson’s — and aim to test their finding in clinic to evaluate whether the method would reduce Parkinson's symptoms.
The selection of the patients will start in summer 2015. The patients will undergo transplantation of induced pluripotent stem cells into their brains. The cells used for transplantation will be cultured without animal-derived substances.