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Despite Earlier Doubts, Feinstein Study Shows Fetal Transplants May Benefit Parkinson's Patients Over Age 60
Date:12/31/2009

Fetal transplant surgery for Parkinson’s disease went on experimentally for more than a decade before it was put to the ultimate test in a double-blind, randomized study.

Manhasset, NY (Vocus) December 31, 2009 -- Fetal transplant surgery for Parkinson’s disease went on experimentally for more than a decade before it was put to the ultimate test in a double-blind, randomized study. It turned out that only patients under 60-years-old showed any benefit, but some also developed uncontrolled jerking movements that washed away hope for the technique. The findings were the death knell for the promising procedure.

But scientists involved with brain imaging studies of the fetal transplant recipients did not put away their study tools. In fact, they kept bringing the Parkinson’s patients back into the laboratory to take snapshots of their brains over time. And what they have now found, and reported in the latest issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM), is that people over age 60 began to show improvements more than a year after fetal dopamine cells were infused into the brain region damaged by Parkinson’s.

“This was totally surprising,” said David Eidelberg, MD, director of the Center for Neurosciences at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY. “The use of fetal transplantation for Parkinson’s encountered a good deal of skepticism after five patients in the study (all under age 60) developed dyskinesias.”

Dr. Eidelberg said that the Parkinson’s community basically forgot about the research and turned their attention to other promising techniques.

There were 33 patients, 13 of whom were over age 60 when the cells were infuse
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Despite Earlier Doubts, Feinstein Study Shows Fetal Transplants May Benefit Parkinson's Patients Over Age 60
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