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Dennis Turner Adult Stem Cell Success for Parkinson's now Peer Reviewed

Posted Feb 19 2009 6:05pm
Dennis Turner was treated for Parkinson's disease with his own neural stem cells, taken from his brain, nearly ten years ago. He went into a significant remission that lasted for about four or five years before symptoms returned, that as I wrote in Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World, allowed him to go on photo-safaris at a time he expected to have to use a wheelchair.

But whenever those of us who argue that ESCR is not "the only hope" for treatment of Parkinson's and other conditions tried to use his case as an illustration of the potential of adult stem cells, we were pooh-poohed by "the scientists" because his case had not been peer reviewed, and of course, ignored by the prominent media. Well, now the case has been peer reviewed and published. From the story:
The researcher reports that the publication of the article, "Therapeutic Microinjection of Autologous Adult Human Neural Stem Cells and Differentiated Neurons for Parkinson's Disease: Five-Year Post-Operative Outcome" in the Bentham Open Stem Cell Journal heralds an important moment in regenerative and personalized medicine. "Our paper describes how we were able to isolate patient-derived neural stem cells, multiply them in vitro and ultimately differentiate them to produce mature neurons before they are reintroduced into the brain's basal ganglia. This is performed without the patient requiring immunosuppressants. Of particular note are the striking results this study--for the five years following the procedure the patient's motor scales improved by over 80% for at least 36 months. A word of caution must be added however, since this is a single case study, a larger clinical trial is needed to replicate these findings," says Levesque
That last point bears repeating: As I have said repeatedly about Turner and other such cases, one success does not a cure make. But the time has come to recognize this potential treatment of Parkinson's as a bona fide hope. Stage 2 trials are in the works.
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