Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 10 million patients around the world. It typically begins with minor tremors that eventually progress to slow movement and increase lower body stiffness.
While there are many well-known Parkinson’s patients, including Michael J. Fox, little is known about the underlying cause of the disease. The primary factor in Parkinson’s disease is damage to the nerve cells in the brain. This damage reduces the body’s ability to produce dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for muscle movement.
While Parkinson’s begins with movement symptoms, it encompasses a wide range of symptoms that develop throughout the course of the disease, including:
- Cognitive decline, including memory problems
- Anxiety and depression
- Visual hallucinations
- Difficulty eating
- Sleep disruption
Parkinson’s is a difficult disease for patients and their close friends and family members, who often feel powerless in the face of the condition. As there is no cure for Parkinson’s, doctors focus on relieving the symptoms of the disease to the best of their ability.
Treatment generally focuses on combining medication designed to minimize tremors and motor control problems with physical and occupational therapy, which helps patients to counteract physical degeneration. Unfortunately, these treatments can’t slow the progression of the disease.
Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease
Stem cell therapy takes a different approach to Parkinson’s disease by trying to address the main contributing factor of the disease: The damaged and destroyed nerve cells themselves. While studies are still ongoing, the early results do show promising outcomes.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are capable of differentiating into a wide range of tissues, like bone and cartilage. By introducing MCSs into the brain tissues, it is possible that these stem cells could help to repair certain areas of the brain.
In addition, stem cell therapy has been researched for its ability to reduce inflammation, as well as its potential to restore neurons that produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often affected by the disease. Therapies like this show the potential in being able to stabilize Parkinson’s patients. Currently, stem cell therapy offers patients the possibility of maintaining their quality of life at a more comfortable level.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.