Cure Parkinson's

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SERIOUSLY what are these people thing ....... I'm off to the gym, I feel it's the best place to release my anger. šŸ‹šŸ¼šŸ‘£šŸ˜”šŸ˜”

15 Replies

Sounds like they are thinking of Money before Care - Very shortsightedly.


Obvious to me. We need more studies , a lot more and more people to study those studies, and restudy those studies . Or they could just eliminate the studies and the people who study and ask the PARKIES what they want. Then spend the money on free tickets to baseball games, hot dogs and beer. (I suppose that would be to Cricket games in Great Britain, and I am not sure they have hotdogs)

stevie3 in reply to Hidden

It would be football matches and we have hotdogs!


Every single dime or single penny ought to be spent on the application of this groundbreaking treatment on PD instead of dubious "rehab" programs which may cost a fortune but not very effective or no science in it. It is the "cure" to halt the disease completely, that is what we need. Rehab programs on neuro-immune inflammatory diseases such as MS or PD would not work. OK, it's an educated guess work.. They all say, neurodegenerative diseases have no cure. That is no longer the case. Whilst MS attacks the nerve sheaths and in PD attacks different parts, it's worth applying on PD and other neurological diseases (epilepsy, MND, for example). I would not be surprised if some patients with PD are already offered this treatment - I have known some people with different conditions who had this treatment with mixed results.


from the link: UK doctors in Sheffield say patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are showing "remarkable" improvements after receiving a treatment usually used for cancer.

About 20 patients have received bone marrow transplants using their own stem cells. Some patients who were paralysed have been able to walk again.

Prof Basil Sharrack, of Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: "To have a treatment which can potentially reverse disability is really a major achievement."

Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS, an incurable neurological condition. Most patients are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s.

The disease causes the immune system to attack the lining of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

The Royal Hallamshire Hospital - together with hospitals in the United States, Sweden and Brazil - is part of an international trial, MIST, which is assessing the long-term benefits of the stem cell transplant. A study published last year involving MS patients in Chicago showed significant reductions in neurological disability, and for some the improvements persisted for at least four years, although there was no comparative control group...

park_bear in reply to Hidden

Parkinson's and MS are fundamentally different. No reason to think a treatment that is good for one would be good for the other.

Hidden in reply to park_bear

Geraldine via our website: Could stem cell treatment help somebody who already has Parkinson's or is it only to prevent Parkinson's?

Rosemary: Stem cells offer the chance to replace the dying nerve cells in Parkinson's disease. They will not stop the underlying disease process and the patient's own nerve cells would continue to die. However, stem cells could be able to help people already diagnosed with Parkinson's and it is likely that any clinical trials would use patients who have lost the benefit of drug therapies.

The hope is to convert stem cells into nerve cells that produce the chemical dopamine. These are the nerve cells that are lost in Parkinson's. The new nerve cells would be implanted directly into the brain, and hopefully should connect up with the patient's brain cells and release dopamine to help replace this chemical to normal levels. This would mean that the movement problems that patients experience would be decreased or even disappear.

So the stem cells wouldn't reverse the disease process, but would fix the damage caused in the specific part of the brain that controls movement.

Ribena via the forum: Can you give any idea of how many years it will take for stem cell therapy to be used?

SF via the forum: I heard on the news that the new treatment which injects levodopa-producing cells might be available in 6 years.

Gillian via our website: Is the research at the point of testing on people yet?

Rosemary: This is an extremely difficult question to answer. There are a number of different types of stem cells that show potential for therapies (eg embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells), but at the moment we do not understand exactly how these stem cells work.

The aim for stem cells is to convert them into nerve cells that can produce the chemical dopamine. To do this is a complex process and as yet scientists donā€™t know how to make a lot of nerve cells of the correct type. This is quite a stumbling block, but if it can be overcome we will be a lot nearer to starting clinical trials.

The other major hurdle that has to be overcome is one of safety. The types of stem cells that show most potential are quite primitive cells whose main job is to divide and make more stem cells. If these are put in the brain they form large tumours. Therefore, to develop a safe treatment, scientists will need to ensure that they can make cell mixtures that are totally free from stem cells.

So it is difficult to put a date on when clinical trials may start. The treatment is not yet ready for patients, and a lot more work has to be done particularly using animal models of Parkinson's disease. 6 years is an optimistic estimate. However, if the two issues of converting stem cells to nerve cells and making them safe can be achieved, progress will be rapid.

Ian via our website: What concerns me about stem cell therapy is stem cells could produce new dopamine producers, but the underlying problem with Parkinson's disease is the dopamine producers are dying. What is to stop the new ones dying too?

Question via Facebook: How are the stem cells supposed to survive when the usual resident ones don't in the same conditions?

Rosemary: We have some clues to the answer to this question from previous clinical trials that have used dopamine-producing nerve cells to transplant into patients with Parkinson's.

Doctors and scientists have found that in a few patients who had transplants more than 10 years ago, their transplant cells do show hallmarks of the disease process, in the form of Lewy bodies which are clumps of abnormal proteins that are found in dying nerve cells in many Parkinson's patients.

While this suggests that the transplanted cells are at risk from the disease process, it is thought that only low numbers of cells have a problem, and also that it takes a fairly long time for the Lewy bodies to develop. So a transplanted patient could expect their transplanted nerve cells to last a good number of years and provide good brain function.

There haven't been any studies yet using stem cell-derived nerve cells transplanted to animal models, which specifically investigate whether in the long term the stem cell transplants develop Lewy bodies.

Turnip via the forum: How do you stop cells turning cancerous?

Rosemary: The short answer is that we don't yet know. Cells become cancerous when they start to divide and cannot stop. For stem cells, these cells are naturally programmed to divide, as their main job is to provide a large number of primitive cells that can then be converted to specialised cells such as nerve cells.

So stem cells switch on genes and cell processes that help them to continue to divide. We don't yet know a way to switch off stem cell division, without manipulating the genes in the cells, which itself may cause a risk. This is called genetic modification, similar to what is done in GM crops.

Scientists are working on ways to stop stem cells dividing, or to convert 100% of stem cells into non-dividing cells, so that when the cells are transplanted there will be no risk of tumours forming in the transplant.

Susan via our website: If stem cells eventually are used in the cure for Parkinson's and are found to be a success, will the treatment be permanent with no more treatment needed or will it only last for so long and have to be given again?

Rosemary: Here, we can look again at the clinical trials that have already been carried out in patients with Parkinson's, using nerve cells. The evidence is that if scientists and doctors get the procedure correct, then patients can have transplants that function well and the new cells remain alive for 10 or more years.

Some patients still need to take drugs alongside their transplant, though in many cases the dose can be lowered.

The key will be preventing the stem cell transplants from succumbing to the underlying disease process. We also know that we need good survival of the transplanted cells, and very precise placement in the brain to make sure they can wire up with the host nerve cells and function at their best.

If we get the process right, then the hope is that the treatment will be permanent.

Turnip via the forum: How does the stem cell get told to be a particular type of cell?

Rosemary: A stem cell develops to become a mature cell in 2 ways.

One way is internal to the cell. It is thought that specific genes can be switched on and off during the cells maturation, and that these genes act like a predetermined code - a pattern that tells the cell exactly which type of mature cell to become.

The other way is for stem cells to receive signals from their surrounding environment. These signals are only present for defined periods, so that when a stem cell is exposed to the signal it will begin to develop into a particular type.

For instance there are different molecules (signals) expressed in the brain to those expressed in the spinal cord, and these different signals help to tell the stem cells whether to be a nerve cell in the brain, or a spinal cord nerve cell.

It is likely that for all cells a combination of both the internal and external signals are important. This is a very hot topic in science as we try to determine precisely what the signals are for making any particular cell type.

Wilco via the forum: How does one overcome the ethical bias against the use of embryonic stem cells in research? I should point out from the outset that I have no bias either way.

Rosemary: I feel that the decision people make on whether it is ethical to use embryos to produce stem cells for potential therapies is an individual one.

There are many factors to weigh up: on the argument for using embryonic stem cells, one can consider that these are taken from a 5-6 day old embryo, that is very immature, and most of the human embryonic stem cell lines are taken from unwanted embryos that are generated during IVF treatments.

Also, a single embryo could provide millions of stem cells to treat hundreds of patients, so one embryo would be destroyed but would potentially cure many patients.

On the other side of the argument, what right do we have to take a human life, and use their cells to implant into other humans?

Interestingly, although many different types of stem cells are being investigated to treat Parkinson's disease, the embryonic stem cells seem at present to have the most potential to work.

An alternative for the future may be to re-programme patients' own cells to make stem cells that are called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). These experiments are currently underway in laboratories, and are supported by Parkinson's UK.

Not only would these iPS cells get around the issue of needing embryos, but they would be derived from the patient, so there would be no rejection of a transplant.

Turnip via the forum: How would stem cell treatment be administered?

Rosemary: Stem cells would have to be implanted directly to the brain. This procedure would require surgery where a needle is lowered into precise locations within the brain tissue and the cells delivered where they are required.

The procedure is fairly challenging, but there are a number of hospitals around the world who are now expert at delivering cells to the brain. The surgeons use co-ordinates and imaging to make sure they target precise areas and avoid damaging any other parts of the brain.

Turnip via the forum: If only foetal cells were usable would research stop or slow down?

Rosemary: If only human embryonic or foetal cells could be useful for Parkinson's treatments, then the development of their use may be restricted, as many countries ban the use of these cells, or restrict use to cell lines that have already been generated. Restricting research to only a few cell lines may give a skewed understanding of how stem cells work, and could slow progress towards the clinic.

However, it is likely that foetal cells will not be the only stem cells usable for Parkinson's therapies. There are a number of adult stem cells that show promise, so may be useful for stem cell therapies.

These include iPS cells, that scientists have already managed to convert to nerve cells that produce the chemical dopamine, although in fairly low numbers at present.

We also have some stem cells in our adult brains, and one idea is to stimulate them to switch back on and be converted into specific nerve cells. This is proving more of a challenge at present.

At the moment there is no one stem cell type that shows more promise over the others. Therefore it is important to maintain research into all types of stem cells and to learn key information to help drive the research forward.

Turnip via the forum: Would stem cell treatment be reversible if something went wrong?

Rosemary: This would be more of a challenge, and would really depend on what scientists and doctors predict might go wrong. So, for instance, if they were worried about stem cells dividing in the transplant and forming tumours, then stem cells could be engineered so that if they started to divide, a death signal would be switched on.

However, it is difficult to engineer cells perfectly, to get 100% of your cells to do the same thing. Also to engineer cells you may have to introduce new genes, a form of genetic modification (GM), which might cause problems in itself.

Another issue that makes stem cells tricky to manipulate following transplantation is that they often will move away from the site where they are transplanted and integrate with brain cells. This would be helpful for rewiring the brain, but problematic if you wanted to target all of the transplant to remove it.

Anonymous via the website: I saw an article recently which said that it is possible to get stem cells from teeth. Is this true?

This is a very interesting and topical news report looking at the potential of deriving stem cells from tooth pulp. Companies are currently being set up to harvest stem cells from teeth, so that these can be stored for potential use for an individual in the future.

This ides is not entirely new. Currently many new parents choose to store the umbilical blood after their child is born, as this can be used to generate stem cells. The fact is that many parts of our bodies contain stem cells, and the hope is that these can be transformed to specific cell types such as insulin-producing cells for diabetes, or dopamine nerve cells for Parkinson's.

What is not known yet is the potential for any one type of stem cell to make a specific mature cell. For instance there was some research in the late 1990s that suggested that stem cells in the blood could turn into nerve cells, a very different cell type. However, more recent research has questioned whether this can really happen.

One current theory is that stem cells may be fairly restricted in the type of mature cells they can turn into, for instance blood stem cells only turn into mature blood cells, and skin stem cells only turn in to mature cells in the skin.

Scientists don't yet know how far they can manipulate stem cells from one region of the body (eg tooth pulp), to make mature cells from a different part (eg nerve cells). We don't know if such a leap is possible, but many laboratories are trying to do just that!

Turnip via the forum: Is it just dopamine cells in the brain that are being looked at or are there other cells?

Rosemary: The main focus for stem cell therapy in Parkinson's has been to use them to generate the dopamine cells similar to the ones in the substantia nigra whose death causes the main movement symptoms.

However, stem cells can be manipulated to form many other types of neurons, so there is potential to replace other neurons that might be dying as part of the Parkinson's disease process.

There is currently less research in this area, partly as we still don't know the general pattern of nerve cell death in other regions of the brain, and how feasible it would be to replace nerve cells in these regions.

About Dr Rosemary Fricker

Dr Fricker began working on developing methods of transplanting nerve cells to the brain while undertaking her PhD with Professor Stephen Dunnett.

She found her interest in stem cells while spending 3 years in Lund, Sweden developing this work with Anders Bjƶrklund. She later began her own research group at Cardiff University. Rosemary moved to Keele University in 2005.

The research group's current interest is finding ways to improve the conversion of embryonic stem cells to dopamine nerve cells.

In particular, they have looked in the developing brain to try to find proteins that might signal to developing nerve cells to tell them to mature and become this specific type of dopamine nerve cell. This research project - Which proteins help dopamine-producing nerve cells develop from stem cells? - is currently funded by Parkinson's UK.

The group is working with a small number of novel proteins they have discovered, which we think might be able to influence the fate of embryonic stem cells. The ultimate aim is to generate dopamine nerve cells more efficiently from embryonic stem cells, which can then be tested in models of Parkinson's.

- See more at:

park_bear in reply to Hidden

The article you linked to in your original post was about bone marrow transplants for MS patients. Now you are changing the subject to stem cell transplants for PD patients which are a different story.

Hidden in reply to park_bear

I was referring to stem cell. You know I am a confused bear most of the time. Had a long weekend at South coast staring at the big blue sea. One off my bucket list. :-)

Islandhappy in reply to Hidden

the report from the study done at theCenter for iPS Research at Kyoto University using iPS cells derived from blood or skin looks intriguing. Dr. Takshashi is leading the reserch according to Science Daily.

Hidden in reply to park_bear

Here is the link :

Four hours over eight weeks? As in a total of four hours, spread over eight weeks' time??!

christymw in reply to Beckey

No Doubt! LOL Beckey! 4 hours over 8 weeks! Yep that would likely show as ineffectual results! Got to love reading these articles.

Do not you bother to read what you post?. One paragraph says there are "no benefits", next paragraph, says "benefits are grossly underestimated" ? No where is there mention of an operational measure for the study.

Recommend John Argue's DVDs (Goggle him) for a wide range of Adaptive Behaviors

Recently, someone mentioned in a post that they were having on going problems moving in bed.? He deals with Adapted movement regarding beds comprehensively.

They Work for me.


My visits to the NHS so-called PD physios was that it was a complete waste of time. My impression was that they were only interested in closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Being relatively fit for my (69on dx in 2009) they didn't seem to have anything for me. So evaluation of the NHS physio would seem to me from my personal experience likely to prove nothing unless we are talking about the activities that are pretty well accepted elsewhere to be of benefit in reducing the impact of dopamine deficiency: cycling, nordic walking, tai chi and yoga. the "big movement" based ex.classes, cross-trainer (very similar in effect to Nordic walking).

The tests were from a small group of people, which is not acceptable. The majority know that exercise makes our limbs more durable and receives us of our stiffness. That is why, this information is questionable. Parkinson's UK Clinical Director Professor David Burn disagrees with this article. I have a blog with all copies of information about Parkinson's for people read on my blog:

It is copies of up-to-dated information . It is free and a one stop read.

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