COMMENTARY A Perspective on Transplantation Therapy and Stem Cells for Parkinson’s Disease

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Abstract:

Parkinson’s disease seems tantalizingly simple. Whereas most of the functioning of the brain is overwhelmingly complex, at least this one disorder seems simple, straightforward, and amenable to human intervention. Mostly, a restricted population of cells (dopaminergic neurons) is lost, and it seems that the loss of striatal dopamine can, in effect, be partially replaced by administration of a drug (L-DOPA). L-DOPA simply helps the brain to produce the substance (dopamine) that the lost dopamine-producing cells normally produce. These cells don’t send projections to everywhere in the brain, just a few areas, and just two of these brain regions (the caudate and putamen) seem to be responsible for almost the entire syndrome of Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, if we can just find a way to restore this one simple circuit, the disease might be cured. So it appeared in 1977, and still, it seems that it might just be that simple.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000004783984025

Affiliations: Cellular Neurobiology Research Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Baltimore, MD, 21224

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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