Japanese researchers said on Friday they transplanted so-called "iPS" (induced induced pluripotent stem cells) into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease, the first such study in the world.
2.4 million cells were injected. A team at the University of Kyoto injected 2.4 million of these pluripotent cells, capable of administering any type of cell, to the left brain, during a three-hour operation performed in the last month. This man, over fifty, was well-tolerated and will now be watched over two years, said Kyoto University in a statement. If there are no problems in the next six months, scientists will inject an additional 2.4 million cells, this time into the right part of the patient's brain.
It is believed that these iPS cells from healthy donors develop into dopamine-producing neurons, a neurotransmitter responsible for motor control. The University of Kyoto announced this clinical trial in July with seven participants between the ages of 50 and 69. "I greet my patients for their courageous and determined participation," said Professor Jun Takahashi, quoted on Friday by NHK's public television channel.
It affected more than ten million people. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the degeneration of these neurons and causes gradual deterioration of symptoms such as tremor, stiffness of limbs and reduced body movements. It affects over 10 million people around the world, according to the data of the American Foundation for Parkinson's Disease. Currently available therapies "improve symptoms without slowing the progression of the disease" – says the foundation. This new study is aimed at reducing evil.
The first test on monkeys. This trial is a continuation of the experiment conducted on monkeys with stem cells of human origin that enabled the improvement of primate abilities sufferers of Parkinson's disease to perform movements, according to a study published at the end of August 2017. In a scientific journal natureThe survival of transplanted cells by injection into the brain of primate was observed for two years without the onset of cancer.
Cells that do not pose basic ethical problems. Induced pluripotent stem cells are adult cells returning to the state of the embryo, reexpressing four genes (normally inactive in adult cells). This genetic manipulation gives them the ability to produce any type of cell (pluripotency), depending on the place of the body in which they are subsequently transplanted. The use of iPS cells is not a fundamental ethical problem, unlike stem cells taken from human embryos.