Stem cell treatment for Parkinson’s disease is a promising experimental therapy. It uses stem cells to replace damaged or dysfunctional cells in the hope of restoring functioning and slowing or reversing the progress of Parkinson’s disease. It is not yet widely available or part of the standard of care.
Stem cell therapy aims to replace the failing dopaminergic neurons. Doctors have already proved it effective in treating other diseases. So far, stem cell therapy has not cured anyone of Parkinson’s disease. However,
For now, this is an experimental treatment. Some people with Parkinson’s disease may be able to participate in clinical trials.
This article explores how stem cell therapy can aid people with Parkinson’s disease. It will also detail the benefits, risk factors, and other treatments.
Stem cell therapy
If stem cell therapy is effective, it could replace damaged or destroyed neurons, either stopping the progression of the disease or reversing it altogether. However, these benefits remain theoretical.
Some will soon move into phase 2, which proves the effectiveness of the intervention in a group of participants.
In June 2023, the Bayer subsidiary BlueRock was the first company to report initial progress in the use of stem cells for treating Parkinson’s disease. In a phase 1 clinical trial, participants tolerated the therapy well, suggesting it is safe to proceed to phase 2 clinical trials.
Additionally, the implanted stem cells grew as expected in the participants’ brains.
Stem cell therapy
Researchers have already used stem cells to treat some illnesses, especially those that involve cell destruction or dysfunction.
Because Parkinson’s disease
Clinical trials of stem cell therapy are in their infancy, though, and have not yet shown that it can treat Parkinson’s disease.
Theoretically, stem cell therapy
Additionally, stem cell therapy might reduce or eliminate the need for medication that
Because stem cell research is only in its early stages, researchers have not identified all possible risks.
The procedure itself
Different options exist for growing and harvesting stem cells. Stem cells
Stem cell treatment
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and no disease-modifying agents exist. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms. The standard treatments
- Levodopa: This helps promote dopamine in the brain and can control symptoms for 3–6 years. Doctors usually combine it with Cabidopa, which can decrease side effects.
- Selegiline: This may offer additional benefits early in the disease course.
- Dopamine agonists such as Ropinirole or Pramipexole: In young people with Parkinson’s, these medications can help with symptoms. They are less effective than Levodopa but also cause fewer side effects.
- Symptom management: For example, a doctor may recommend sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.
- Social support: Education about the disease, support from friends and family, and a plan to support a person as their symptoms and needs change may ease anxiety.
- Psychological support: This may include psychotherapy, support groups, and medications to manage depression.
People tend to become less responsive to medication with time. Medication can also cause side effects, including serious side effects such as psychosis. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor about options for managing these side effects.
Parkinson’s disease is a serious neurodegenerative condition. While medication can control symptoms for a few years, it eventually does not work as well. Symptoms tend to worsen and can cause significant disability and death.
Stem cell therapy offers a potential cure. It has not yet cured anyone with Parkinson’s disease, but if it works, it could revolutionize Parkinson’s disease treatment. Over the next few years, it may become clear whether it is a viable treatment and how well it works.