Japanese researchers said on Friday that transplanted so-called "iPS" (induced induced pluripotent stem cells) into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease, the first such trial in the world.
2.4 million cells were injected. A team from Kyoto University injected 2.4 million of these pluripotent cells, capable of any type of brain cell, during a three-hour operation that last month. A man of fifties was well tolerated and will now be under the supervision of two years, said the University of Kyoto. If there is no problem in the next six months, researchers will then add an additional 2.4 million cells, this time in the right part of the patient's brain.
These iPS cells from healthy donors are considered to develop in neurons that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in engine control. The University of Kyoto published in July this clinical study with seven participants aged 50 to 69 years. "I greet patients for their courageous and determined participation," said Professor Jun Takahashi, who announced the public television channel NHK on Friday.
More than ten million people have been hit. Parkinson's disease is characterized by degeneration of these neurons and leads to progressive deterioration of symptoms such as thinning, extremity stiffness, and body movement decrease. It affects more than 10 million people worldwide, according to the US Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The currently available therapies "improve the symptoms without slowing the progression of the disease", says the foundation. This new research aims to reduce the evil.
First monkey testing. This trial follows an experiment performed on monkeys with stem cells of human origin that enabled the ability of primates suffering from Parkinson's disease to move, according to a study published at the end of August 2017, a scientific journal nature, The survival of inserted cells by injection into the primate brain was observed for two years without any tumor-like appearance.
Cells that do not represent fundamental ethical problems. Induction pluripotent stem cells are adult cells that return to the state near the embryonic state by re-expression of four genes (normally inactive in adult cells). This genetic manipulation gives them the ability to produce any type of cell (pluripotency), according to the body where they are being transplanted. Using iPS cells is not a basic ethical problem, unlike stem cells taken from human embryos.