Neural transplants for parkinson's disease: what are the issues?

Poiesis and Praxis 4 (2):129-143 (2006)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects about 1 in 800 people and for which we have symptomatic but not curative therapies. At the core of the disease is the loss of a specific population of dopaminergic neurons within the brain, and replacement of dopamine through drug therapies has provided clinically significant benefit for many patients. However this therapy only ever offers a temporary amelioration of symptoms and with time this symptomatic therapy becomes less efficacious and produces its own unique side-effects. As a result more effective curative therapies have been sought, including the use of cell based therapies to replace the lost dopaminergic neurons. In this review I am going to discuss PD and its possible repair using neural transplants. In particular I am going to discuss which type of cells are best considered as a reparative therapy, where they should be transplanted in the brain, when in the disease course and in which type of patient. By considering these issues, I hope to be able to make some recommendations as to the future use of this approach in PD
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