The Tech Herald

Therapeutic cloning offers hope for Parkinson's disease cure

by Rich Bowden - Mar 24 2008, 09:31

Insertion of an electrode during deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Credit: thomasbg/WikiCommons

A breakthrough in the treatment of the degenerative Parkinson's disease appears closer with the revelation that therapeutically cloned cells have successfully treated the condition in mice.

Parkinson's (or PD) is a disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's speech and motor skills. It is usually characterised by tremors of the hand and muscular rigidity.

A team at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC) in New York has said this is the first time the disease has been treated successfully in this manner and say it is an exciting development.

The researchers took laboratory-matured cells and placed them back into the rat from which it had been taken in a technique called therapeutic cloning. According to a MSKCC press release, the controversial technique -- opposed by some Christian groups -- offers hope for Parkinson's disease cure.

"The scientists used skin cells from the tail of the animal to generate customised or autologous dopamine neurons—the missing neurons in Parkinson's disease," said the release.

"The mice that received neurons derived from individually matched stem cell lines exhibited neurological improvement. But when these neurons were grafted into mice that did not genetically match the transplanted cells, the cells did not survive well and the mice did not recover," the statement added.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper, Dr Kieran Breen, director of research at the UK's Parkinson's Disease Society said: "This is an exciting development, as for the first time it may be possible to create a person's own embryonic stem cells to potentially treat Parkinson's disease."

"Stem cell therapy offers great hope for repairing the brain. It may ultimately offer a cure, allowing people to lead a life that is free from the symptoms of Parkinson's disease," Dr Breen added.

The work was led by senior author Lorenz Studer, MD, Head of the Stem Cell and Tumour Biology Laboratory within the Sloan-Kettering Institute at MSKCC, and lead author Viviane Tabar, MD, Neurosurgeon and stem cell scientist at MSKCC. The work was performed in collaboration with scientists at the Riken Institute in Kobe, Japan.

Around the Web

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus

From Autosaur.com

Knight Rider Back as a Renault Van

  Renault have released a video featuring the new Renault Trafic van in a remake of &nb...

2014 AUTOBACS GT Round 6 1000km GT500 Pictures

We have added some great pictures from the 2014 AUTOBACS GT Round 6 43rd International ...

Car Games Update August 30th

We have added a few new games to the car games section of Autosaur. First up is the Car Eats...

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Prices

Toyota have announced prices for their 2015 Tundra TRD Pro, based on the Tundra it includes ...

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Pictures

Toyota recently announced prices for the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. We have added some...