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Cell Therapy for Parkinson's Disease: Only Young Onset Patients Allowed? Reflections About the Results of Recent Clinical Trials With Cell Therapy and the Progression of Parkinson's Disease

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The selection of the best candidates for surgery among Parkinson's disease (PD) patients is a debated topic. This could be particularly important for transplantation studies in which patients with advanced PD and motor complications refractory to conventional pharmacological treatments are usually included. The development of lesions in nondopaminergic structures, which apparently are unaffected by the intervention, could eventually lead to the appearance of disabling, treatment-resistant symptoms. This has been considered as the crucial factor responsible for the outcome of any therapeutic procedure. However, other factors might be involved. It is suggested in this article that the rate of progression of PD and the effects of ageing are more important than the extradopaminergic involvement in the final outcome. Rate of progression of PD is critically related to the power of compensatory mechanisms, which are age related and under the control of still unknown genes. Thus, patients with young onset parkinsonism (YOP), either caused by gene mutations or not, could be the best candidates for surgery because they have a slower disease progression and more competent compensatory mechanisms. On the other hand, this can also explain the appearance of unexpected side effects such as the “runaway” dyskinesias reported following transplantation.
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Keywords: Compensatory mechanisms; Neural plasticity; Parkinson's disease; Surgery; Transplantation

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Centro de Investigación Parkinson (CIP), Policliónica Gipuzkoa, San Sebastián, Spain

Publication date: 2006-06-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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