Parkinson’s is a deadly neurodegenerative disease, affecting more than 10 million people worldwide. The primary reason for the onset of the diseased state in Parkinson’s has been observed to be the depletion of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. The human brain is known to be the central processing organ, in passing the information related to all functions our body performs.
This information is passed in the form of a signal from the brain to different vital organs of our body, via a network of cells known as Neurons.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease(PD)
Our brain-specific neurons produce a hormone known as Dopamine, by passing on the information. This dopamine is a chemical messenger that enables a person to control all muscular movements of the body. When these dopamine-producing neurons are interrupted in their function of signal transmission through protein deposits, the human body fails to produce dopamine and hence motor function is affected which leads to PD.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease(PD)
Some of the major symptoms of PD include:
- Stiffness in muscles
- Impaired body balance
- Difficulty in speech
- Impaired cognition
Conventionally, there is no cure available for Parkinson’s. Until recently people have been unaware of the existence of such a disease, which alters your muscular movement and affects some of the non-motor functions such as sense of smell or sleep regulation, etc. Presently, some steroidal medication, as well as some electrical implants in the brain, is advised to stop the progression. However, these options have not been proven to be effective for Parkinson’s patients. Stem Cell Therapy has emerged as a boon in Modern Medicine that has the potential to stop the disease progression. Several studies taking place worldwide, have indicated that Stem Cells can be the right candidate to halt the progression.
How do stem cells help in Parkinson’s?
Stem cells are the mother cells of the body, which are able to differentiate into any kind of cells when directed via proper signals. This remarkable ability of stem cells to develop into any kind of cells has been exploited by the medical fraternity to treat a variety of diseases. Parkinson’s can be one of them, which can be appropriately treated using the regenerative power of stem cells. The human body has many sources, which can provide an abundant supply of stem cells. Bone Marrow and Adipose tissue are thus considered to be the most potent and opted choice as stem cell suppliers in the autologous way of treating diseases. Autologous because the body’s own cells are used.
These cells can be isolated from Bone Marrow and Adipose tissue by contemporary scientific technology, processed minimally outside the body, in the laboratory. The laboratory wherein stem cells are processed should maintain a classified environment as per the guidelines approved by the authority. These stem cells are then implanted back into the body via specific routes, to ensure proper homing at the desired location or site of injury. Once reached, these cells then start to elicit a signaling process to promote a microenvironment that can facilitate the repair of damage and regeneration of new cells or neurons in the case of Parkinson’s. As the new dopamine-producing neurons are in place, the disturbed function can be immediately normalized.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy For PD
Conventionally, there is no cure for the damage caused by Parkinson’s but regenerative medicine has shown significant improvements in the symptoms of Parkinson’s post-therapy. Some of the improvements include:
- Improved body balance
- Reduced tremors
- Improvement in cognition
- Better Speech Control
- Enhancement in muscles movements
Although the field of stem cells is developing, more and more findings are on their way, but so far the promises made by stem cells on the benches of the laboratory have been fulfilled even at the bedside!