A group of Japanese researchers announced on Friday to transplant pluripotent stem cells (iPS) into the brain of a Parkinson's disease patient, the first test of this kind in the world.
The Kyoto University team injects 2.4 million iPS cells –capable of producing any type of cell– to the left of the brain during a three-hour operation in October.
The man, about 50 years old, He has undergone good treatment and will remain under surveillance for two years, the Kyoto University said in a statement.
If a problem arises in the next six months, researchers will implant 2.4 million additional cells, this time to the right of the brain.
These iPS cells from healthy donors are supposed to grow in dopamine-producing neurons, a neurotransmitter involved in motor control.
The Kyoto University announced in July that it will conduct a clinical trial with seven people aged 50-69.
Parkinson's disease is characterized by: neuronal degeneration, with progressively worsening symptoms such as tremor, muscle stiffness and loss of body kinetic ability.
It affects more than ten million people in the world, according to the American Disease Foundation of Parkinson. Currently available treatments "improve symptoms without slowing down disease progression," the institute explains.
New investigations aim to overthrow the evil.
Prior to the clinical trial in humans, an experiment was conducted in monkeys with stem cells of human origin that allowed the improvement of the kinetic ability of primates affected by a type of Parkinson, according to a study published in late August 2017 in the journal Nature.
For two years the survival level of the transplanted cells was closely monitored by infusion into the primary brain and no tumor was detected.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are adult cells that have declined in their near-fetal condition to produce four genes (usually inactive in adults). This genetic manipulation returns the ability to produce any cell depending on where the body is transplanted.
The use of iPS cells does not create significant moral problems, as opposed to stem cells derived from human embryos.