PROF DAVID DEX­TER

DEPUTY RE­SEARCH DI­REC­TOR, PARKIN­SON’S UK

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Update -

“Not only did the new cells sur­vive, and were found in later dis­sec­tions, but they also in­te­grated with the ex­ist­ing neu­ronal net­work – func­tion­ing like nor­mal dopamine-pro­duc­ing brain cells and al­low­ing grad­u­ally im­proved move­ment over a 12-month pe­riod.

“Al­though this is promis­ing qual­ity re­search, and the con­clu­sions are backed up by solid data that comes from a va­ri­ety of sources, in­clud­ing be­havioural, brain scan and his­to­log­i­cal anal­y­sis, there are still ma­jor chal­lenges ahead. We need to un­der­stand if th­ese new trans­planted cells would suc­cumb to the same fate as the orig­i­nal cells that had pre­vi­ously died.

“There are also other types of brain cells that are af­fected by Parkin­son’s, and ad­di­tional work must be done to tackle those symp­toms of the con­di­tion that are not caused by a lack of dopamine.”

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