Scientists have for the first time used adult human stem cells to “cure” rats with Parkinson’s. The study, published in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, details how a team of researchers working in Germany at the University of Bielefeld (UB) and Dresden University of Technology were able to produce mature neurons using inferior turbinate stem cells (ITSCs).ITSCs are stem cells taken from tissue that would generally be discarded after an adult patient undergoes sinus surgery.
The team then tested how the ITSCs would behave when transplanted into a group of rats with Parkinson’s disease. Prior to transplantation, the animals showed severe motor and behavioural deficiencies. However, 12 weeks after receiving the ITSCs, the cells had migrated into the animals’ brains and functional ability was not only fully restored, but significant behavioural recovery was witnessed, too. In another sign, no tumours were found in any of the animals after the transplantations, something that also has been a concern in stem cell therapy.
The full article, Intrastriatal transplantation of adult human neural crest-derived stem cells improves functional outcome in Parkinsonian rats can be accessed at