Japanese researchers said on Friday that they have transplanted so-called "iPS" (induced induced pluripotent stem cells) into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease, the first such test in the world.
2.4 million cells injected. The Kyoto University team injected 2.4 million of these pluripotent cells, which in the left brain can give any type of cell during the three-hour operation performed in the month last. The man, in his fifties, was well tolerated and will now be under surveillance for two years now, according to a statement from the Kyoto University. If no problem occurs in the next six months, additional 2.4 million cells will be implanted, this time in the right part of the patient's brain.
It seems that these IPS cells from healthy donors develop into dopamine-producing neurons, a neurotransmitter involved in engine control. In July, the Kyoto University announced this clinical trial with seven participants aged 50 to 69 years. "I welcome patients for their courageous and determined participation," said Professor Takahashi, who was announced Friday by the public television channel NHK.
More than ten million people were concerned. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the degeneration of these neurons and results in a gradual deterioration of symptoms, such as trembling, stiffness of the limb and reduced body movement. This affects more than 10 million people worldwide, according to US Parkinson's Foundation Disease. Currently available therapy "improves symptoms without slowing the progression of the disease," says the Foundation. The purpose of this new research is to reduce evil.
The first test on monkeys. This trial follows an experiment performed on monkeys with human stem cells, which has enabled the ability of primates suffering from Parkinson's disease to improve, according to a study published in late August 2017 in a scientific journal nature. Survival of grafted cells by injection into the primate brain has been observed for two years without any tumor.
Cells that do not represent fundamental ethical problems. Indurane pluripotent stem cells are adult cells that return to an almost embryonic state by expressing the four genes again (usually inactive in adult cells). This genetic manipulation gives them the ability to produce any cells (pluripotence) according to the site of the body, where they are then transplanted. The use of iPS cells does not present fundamental ethical problems, unlike human embryonic stem cells.