Cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jul; 1792(7) : 688-702. Epub 2008 Oct 25.
Cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

Wijeyekoon R, Barker RA.
Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Forvie Site, Cambridge, UK.

Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder in which the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons projecting from the substantia nigra to the striatum is a key pathological feature of the disease. Although pharmacological dopamine replacement is generally very effective in early disease, it is only a symptomatic therapy and can have significant side effects with long term use. One of the key strategies in a more restorative approach to PD therapy involves replacement of this degenerating nigro-striatal dopaminergic network with cells and several possible cell sources are being explored. While much experience and some success have been gained with fetal ventral mesencephalic (FVM) tissue transplants, the rapidly advancing stem cell field is providing attractive alternative options which circumvent many of the ethical and practical problems inherent in trials with FVM tissue. Of these embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells seem the most promising. However further development and optimisation of the safety and efficacy of the techniques involved in generating and manipulating these, as well as other, cell sources will be essential before any further clinical trials are carried out.

PMID: 19007882 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]