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Cell-based therapy has positive results for Parkinson's patients

Cell-based therapy has positive results for Parkinson's patients
29th April 2008

Cell-based therapy is showing potential as a possible treatment for Parkinson's disease.

A research team from Rush University Medical Centre in the US found that a novel cell therapy using retinal pigment epithelial cells, known as Spheramine, proved successful in improving the symptoms of the neurological disorder in a number of patients.

Initial trials of the therapy, which took place over a six-year period and monitored six patients, showed that the stabilisation of symptoms was maintained for a minimum of two years and no serious side effects were noted.

Lead researcher Dr Roy Bakay said: "The results of this study are very encouraging – Spheramine is well tolerated through several years of follow-up and improvement in parkinsonian symptoms is sustained."

These positive results have prompted a phase IIB controlled study to further analyse the implications and restrictions of the treatment.

According to the Parkinson's Disease Society, some 120,000 individuals living in the UK suffer from Parkinson's disease, with a further 10,000 being diagnosed every year.

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