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J Comp Neurol. 2014 Aug 15;522(12):2802-16. doi: 10.1002/cne.23577. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Treating Parkinson's disease in the 21st century: can stem cell transplantation compete?

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John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The characteristic and selective degeneration of a unique population of cells-the nigrostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons-that occurs in Parkinson's disease (PD) has made the condition an iconic target for cell replacement therapies. Indeed, transplantation of fetal ventral mesencephalic cells into the DA-deficient striatum was first trialled nearly 30 years ago, at a time when other treatments for the disease were less well developed. Over recent decades standard treatments for PD have advanced, and newer biological therapies are now emerging. In the 21st century, stem cell technology will have to compete alongside other sophisticated treatments, including deep brain stimulation and gene therapies. In this review we examine how stem cell-based transplantation therapies compare with these novel and emerging treatments in the management of this common condition. J. Comp. Neurol. 522:2802-2816, 2014.


dopamine; embryonic; gene therapy; growth factor; pharmaco-genetics; pluripotent

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