Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whatever happend to stem cells for Parkinson's disease? A lot!

This week the Michael J. Fox Foundation asked whatever happened to stem cells? We could have told them: a lot has happened with stem cells in Parkinson's disease. Just look at our Parkinson's disease fact sheet.

But instead of asking us, Dave Iverson asked Brian Fiske, PhD, vice president of research programs at MJFF and Olle Lindvall, MD, PhD, chairman of the Division of Neurology at the University Hospital in Lund, Sweden and MJFF scientific advisor about stem cell research for Parkinson's disease and put a podcast of the conversation on their blog.

The conversation is a good overview of approaches scientists are taking, and hurdles they currently face. When asked what gives him hope, Lindvall answered:
"Well of course the dream scenario is that first these cellular models will give us a better idea of what is causing Parkinson's disease, the death of the dopaminergic neurons. That's of course one aspect. The other is that we will within the next couple of years be able to use cells generated from stem cells, dopaminergic neurons, for implantation into Parkinson's patients and that that will give a therapeutically valuable and clinically competitive treatment for the motor symptoms."
For more on stem cell approaches to treating the disease watch our Parkinson's disease Ask the Expert video, which also discusses the many approaches our grantees are taking. 

Amy Adams

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