Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases worldwide. Its main features include motor symptoms such as bradykinesia, rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability, though non-motor symptoms are often also present. Currently the main therapy for Parkinson’s disease consists of augmentation of dopamine levels in the brain via dopamine supplements or agonists or by inhibiting dopamine degradation. Treatment using this methodology is symptomatic but not long-lasting, and unfortunately has no neuroprotective effect. Cell therapy with grafts of human fetal tissue from the ventral mesencephalon have been carried out successfully, with multiple reports of long-term benefits.
A pioneering study from the Centre for Stem Cell Biology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (USA) has focused on developing stem cell-derived midbrain dopamine progenitors for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. This study highlighted, amongst other things, that scientists have been able to demonstrate the efficacy of STEM-CELLBANKER® to store, thaw and then recover these manufactured cells for clinical use in patients.