Stem cell therapy for PD is at the forefront of PD research. In the setting of long-term limitations of medical and surgical therapy, the long-term advantages of this approach are tremendous, given its conceptual foundation of replacing damaged neuronal tissue and restoring neuronal circuitry. The road to reasonable and sustainable success is filled with hurdles, but many hurdles have been overcome and the remaining ones are being constantly tackled. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the transplant procedure is a multistep process, indicating that all steps have to be optimized and work in synergy so that maximum efficacy is accomplished. Nonetheless, proof of principle has been obtained, with reasonable success achieved already in the primate PD model. Progress at a fairly rapid rate would not come as a surprise, given that different kinds of stem cells are being investigated, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Despite the progress and promise at hand, however, attention has to be paid continuously to the ethical and moral issues at hand. After all, given the nature of the material, stem cell therapy concerns cultures and societies and not merely a confined scientific community. Optimism regarding a broad consensus in society can be drawn from the fact that there exists a real need for treatment of PD, especially in an era in which the elderly population is expected to grow at a rapid rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology