Imagine you were suffering from these symptoms: Your hands and legs, and even your head begin shaking uncontrollably; you can’t keep your balance, and are in danger of falling, even when you just take a short trip; you can’t speak properly; and your thoughts are getting confused, and depression is beginning to creep in. Now, imagine there was no cure for any of these symptoms and that they’re only going to get worse. That’s what life can be like for people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease. Medications and lifestyle changes could slow the progression of symptoms. But, they won’t cure either disease. There is one treatment that holds the potential for a cure—stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy has a lot of controversy surrounding it. Stem cells are taken from live tissue. These cells are then transplanted as a way to replace specific cells damaged or destroyed by disease. It has been a highly contentious treatment, due to the fact that some stem cells have been taken from fetal brain tissue.
But now, researchers have found a way to harvest stem cells from adults. What’s more, these cells are capable of differentiating into different types of cells, which means they may be able to help replace lost or damaged cells in the brains of people with Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. This is the forefront of new medicine, and offers much needed hope for those with these debilitating conditions.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Help for Parkinson’s Sufferers From This Controversial Therapy
Lescaudron, L., et al., “The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases,” Curr Med Chem. September 3, 2012.