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Restaurative therapy for Parkinson’s disease
In Parkinson’s disease (PD) the transplantation of fetal mesencephalic cells into the striatum has been intensively studied in animals. Clinical studies with human fetal mesencephalis cells have been performed in about 300 patients. Limited access, shifted the focus towards embryonic stem (ES) cells. Recent clinical studies showed an improvement of motor function over time, but revealed new side effects as non-pharmacologically induced dyskinesias (Freed et al 2001, Olanow et al 2002). Experimental studies to test the site of transplantation, number of grafted cells and the optimal circumstances of cell survival are needed in the light of the current clinical results. The group of Ron McKay at the NIH published positive behavioural data of unilaterally lesioned rats, that have received a graft of dopaminergic neurons derived from murine embryonic stem cells. Long-term results are still lacking. Further approaches of restaurative therapy are ongoing for treatment of multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Huntington’s chorea (HD).