ParkinsonParkinson’s Disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects close to one million Americans. PD is a chronic and progressive disorder that is thought to be caused by the destruction of the dopamine (an important neurotransmitter) generating cells in the midbrain. The cause of PD is unknown and there is no cure so treatment is focused on medication and management of symptoms. Current research include investigation into new animal models of the disease and of the potential usefulness of gene therapy, the cell transplants and neuroprotective agents. There is hope that mesenchymal cells will mitigate the degenerative effects of the advancing Parkinson’s.

Cells And Parkinson’s Disease

Scientists have been testing a variety of different cells for their ability to become functional dopamine neurons or to provide protective growth factors for neurons at risk. In theory, mobilizing or transplanting these cells or their progenitors into the brain could contribute to some degree of functional recovery in patients with Parkinson’s.

The Center For Regenerative Cell Medicine has developed a specific treatment protocol that attempts to utilize the potential regenerative properties of fat cells. Special measures are taken to optimize transport of the fat cells across the blood-brain barrier to improve central nervous system uptake. This is all done as an outpatient and the entire surgical procedure takes approximately three hours.

The therapy offers a very targeted treatment approach because the majority of motor deficiencies in Parkinson’s relate clearly to the failure of one specific kind of cell – the dopamine neuron – to do its job. It has long been known that when dopamine is reintroduced into the central nervous system in animal models as well as human patients, the symptoms of Parkinson’s abate.