For eight local Parkinson’s patients seeking stem cell therapy, 2014 could be a milestone.
Jacob Blumenthal's insight:
A new Parkinson’s stem cell project, aims to replace the damaged neuronal cells in the patient's brain with neurons that will be derived from he patient's own cells. This article, describes the time table and the funding issues behind this project
International Stem Cell Corporation, (ISCO, www.internationalstemcell.com), a California-based biotechnology company developing novel stem cell-based therapies, announced today that it has entered into a master clinical research agreement with Duke University to conduct clinical trials research in Parkinson's disease using ISCO's innovative neural stem cell product.
Jacob Blumenthal's insight:
ISCO's Parkinson's disease program uses human parthenogenetic neural stem cells (hPNSC), a novel therapeutic cellular product derived from the company's proprietary histocompatible human pluripotent stem cells. The hPNSC are self-renewing mulitpotent cells that are precursors for the major cells of the central nervous system. The ability of hPNSC to (1) differentiate into dopaminergic neurons and (2) express neurotrophic factors such as glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to protect the nigrostriatal system, offers a new and revolutionary opportunity for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, especially in cases where current dopamine-replacement approaches fail to adequately control the symptoms.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease typically characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) affects 80% of PD patients, and is pathologically related to neuronal loss and aggregation of α-Synuclein (αSyn) (encoded by the SNCA gene) in the cerebral cortex area of the brain. In order to study the molecular characteristics of and mechanisms underlying PDD, researchers from the Whitehead Institute have generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patient skin cells, harboring α-Synuclein mutations (A53T). In a parallel experiment, (click the image to read more).
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