Stem Cell Researchers Take on Parkinson's

Parkinson's disease could be the perfect target for stem cell therapy. The etiology of this progressively debilitating disease is clear: scientists know what cells are affected, where those cells reside, when those cells are created during development, and what their target is. This information is reported in scores of articles on cell transplantation that use fetal cells to treat Parkinson's in animal models and people. The good news continues. New research shows that by using stem cells, sci

Laura Defrancesco
May 27, 2001
Parkinson's disease could be the perfect target for stem cell therapy. The etiology of this progressively debilitating disease is clear: scientists know what cells are affected, where those cells reside, when those cells are created during development, and what their target is. This information is reported in scores of articles on cell transplantation that use fetal cells to treat Parkinson's in animal models and people.

The good news continues. New research shows that by using stem cells, scientists can produce an unlimited supply of dopamine (DA) neurons,1,2 the same neurons that inexplicably die off in Parkinson's patients. (Dopamine is the chemical that helps direct muscle activity.) Scientists at Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recently reported that they produced DA neurons from adult somatic cells using "Dolly-esque" cloning technology.3 This finding raises the possibility that one day, therapeutic cloning could help generate DA neurons from a patient's...

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