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Know what Parkinson disease is all about; Researchers developing new therapy to treat PD

Latest health updates: Parkinson's disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Read on to find out more!

India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited by: India TV Lifestyle Desk
New Delhi Published on: February 18, 2019 13:59 IST
Know what Parkinson disease is all about; Researchers developing new therapy to treat PD

 Know what Parkinson disease is all about; Researchers developing new therapy to treat PD

Parkinson's disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. Technically, according to parkinson.org, it is defined as "Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra."

Now, the researchers are developing new therapy to treat Parkinson's disease. Cell replacement may play an increasing role in alleviating the symptoms such as movement problems and memory loss of Parkinson's disease (PD), researchers say.

The most common PD treatment today is based on enhancing the activity of the nigrostriatal pathway in the brain with dopamine-modulating therapies, thereby increasing striatal dopamine levels and improving motor impairment associated with the disease. However, this treatment has significant long-term limitations and side effects. 

"We are in desperate need of a better way of helping people with PD. It is on the increase worldwide. There is still no cure, and medications only go part way to fully treat incoordination and movement problems," said Claire Henchcliffe, MD, from Weill Cornell Medicine in the US.

Recent strides in stem cell technology mean that quality, consistency, activity, and safety can be assured, and that it is possible to grow essentially unlimited amounts of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the laboratory for transplantation, said a study, published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. 

"We are moving into a very exciting era for stem cell therapy. The first-generation cells are now being trialed and new advances in stem cell biology and genetic engineering promise even better cells and therapies in the future," said Malin Parmar, postdoctoral candidate from the Lund University in Sweden. 

"There is a long road ahead in demonstrating how well stem cell-based reparative therapies will work, and much to understand about what, where, and how to deliver the cells, and to whom," said Parmar.

Briefly speaking of Parkinson's disease symptoms, the following are the ones:

Tremor, mainly at rest and described as a pill-rolling tremor in hands. Other forms of tremor are possible.

Bradykinesia
Limb rigidity
Gait and balance problems

The cause of PD remains largely unknown.

(IANS Inputs)

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