Stem cell research

We support stem cell-based research, as it could lead to better treatments or a cure for Parkinson's.

This policy statement has been developed with advice and guidance from people with Parkinson's, the people who love and care for them, health and social care professionals and other experts.

What we believe about stem cell research

Stem cell research has the potential to lead to new and better treatments for Parkinson's.

Therefore we firmly support the continuation of stem cell-based research within the rigorous ethical and regulatory framework in place in the UK.

Why we believe this

Stem cells have the potential to develop into every kind of cell found in the body.

This means that stem cells could be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's, where new cells could be used to repair and replace damaged tissue.

Scientists have been able to turn stem cells into dopamine-producing nerve cells – the type of brain cells affected in Parkinson's.

What's the evidence?

Continuous progress is being made towards cell replacement therapies for Parkinson's. In work funded by Parkinson's UK, stem cells were created from a person with early onset Parkinson's.

Stem cells from people with Parkinson's can be used to better understand how changes in DNA can affect dopamine-producing nerve cells.

Public support for this type of research is strong.

A 2003 MORI poll showed that around 70% of the British public support the use of human embryos for medical research, to find treatments for serious diseases and for fertility research.

Full policy statement

Parkinson's UK policy statement: Stem cell research (PDF, 310KB).