Posted - 12 Jun 2012 22:23
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Just found a bit of cheery news in the March 17th issue of New Scientist magazine.
It concerns research work being carried out at the University of Kyoto in Japan involving monkeys with Parkinson's disease-like symptoms. Apparently, when their brains were injected with human embryonic stem-cells that had matured into an early form of neural cell they recovered 20 to 45 per cent of the movement they had lost before treatment. Post-mortems a year after treatment showed that the cells had developed into fully functioning dopamine-secreting neurons.
Monkeys starting with tremors and rigidity began to move smoothly, and those originally confined to sitting down were able to walk around. The research team say it will probably be four to six years before clinical trials on humans can begin.
Let us hope that this is not another false dawn!