Parkinson Essay

1569 words - 7 pages

Parkinson's Disease and Stem Cell Treatment

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Abstract

Parkinson's disease is a neurogenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of the dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra, pars compacta in the midbrain ( Borta & Hoglinger, 2006). Stem cells derived from embryos or fetal tissues have been introduced in the clinic as an alternative treatment for parkinson’s disease. Because of their self-renewal capacity and pluripotentiality, human embryonic stem cells are thought to hold enormus promise as potential replacement tissue in neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s. Pluripotential embryonic stem ...view middle of the document...

A major advance in the understanding of Parkinson's disease (PD) came when dopamine deficiency was discovered in the corpus striatum and substantia nigra (SN) of brains taken from patients. Later studies demonstrated the connection between the SN and the striatum, thus suggesting that dopaminergic cell loss in the SN directly leads to dopaminergic deficiency in the striatum. The determination that PD is a disease of dopamine loss led to the development of rational therapies aimed at correcting this deficiency. Experimental therapeutics of PD includes novel delivery systems, anti-apoptic strategies and implantation of genetically engineered cells, and stem cells (Jankovic, 2006).
Stem cells have been widely assumed to be capable of replacing lost or damaged cells in a number of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, in which neurons of the substantia nigra die and fail to provide the neurotransmiter, dopamine, to the striatum (Redmond et al, 2007). Neural stem cells possess high potencies of self-renewal and neuronal differentation. As the neural stem cells most primordial cells, the human neural stem cells have attributes that appear to promote anatomical and functional preservation and/or restoration in neurodegenerative diseases. Pluripotential embryonic stem cells, neural tissue derived stem and phenotype-specified progenitor cells have been investigated for their ability to generate neurons and glia, and the molecular mechanism by which they do so (Redmond et al, 2007). Some works focus on the potential utility of neural stem cells and progenitor cells as substrates for structural repair of the brain.
Embryonic stem cells as source of

Dopaminergic neurons

Stem cells are undeveloped cells capable of proliferation, self-renewal, conversion to differentiated cells, and regenerating tissues. There are two main types of stem cells, embryonic and nonembryonic. Embryonic stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, which forms several days after an egg is fertilized. If the blastocyst implants into the uterus, the inner cell mass will develop into a fetus, with the surrounding trophoblast developing into the placenta (Iacoviti et al, 2007). The cells in this line are pluripotent and will differentiate under appropriate culture conditions into the three lineages of: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm, from which all mature cells, will develop. Ectodermal cells are the source of neuronal cells such as those containing (releasing) dopamine, and are essential to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Umbilical cord matrix stems (UCMS) cells
Umbilical cord matrix stem (UCMS) cells have several properties that make them of interest as a source of cells for therapeutic use. For example, they can be isolated in large numbers, grow robustly and can be frozen/thawed, can be clonally expanded, and can easily be engineered to express exogenous proteins UCMS cells have genetic and surface markers of mesenchymal stem cells and appear to...

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