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Rats Show Parkinson’s Disease Improvement After Stem Cell Treatment

Posted Feb 10 2011 11:30am

If you’re a rat with Parkinson’s disease, take heart.  A cure may be just around the corner.

Successful intranasal delivery of stem cells to the brains of rats with Parkinson disease yielded significant improvement in motor function and reversed the dopamine deficiency characteristic of the disease. These highly promising findings, reported in Rejuvenation Research , a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. highlight the potential for a noninvasive approach to cell therapy delivery in Parkinson disease – a safer and effective alternative to surgical transplantation of stem cells. The article is available free online.

Now hold your horses, these are not fresh, sweet little baby cells stolen from abortion clinics … these are mesenchymal stem cells, typically found in bone marrow.

In this groundbreaking study, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) delivered via the nose preferentially migrated to the brain and were able to survive for at least 6 months. Substantial improvement in motor function – up to 68% of normal – was reported in the MSC -treated rat model of Parkinson disease. Levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine were significantly higher in affected rat brain regions exposed to MSCs compared to the non-treated brain regions.

Excellent.  So if you have any slow, shaky rats who would benefit from this treatment, you know where to take ‘em.

What this means for humans?  Who knows.  The ubiquitous phrase “merits further testing” is included at the end of the study.

So… yaay for the rats!

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