Parkinson's brain cell transplants last for years
Sun Apr 6, 2008 1:21pm EDT
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Transplants of brain cells given to Parkinson's disease patients survive for 10 years or more, three teams of researchers reported on Sunday, but at least some of the transplants were damaged.
The researchers disagree about whether this damage shows that Parkinson's disease is a long-term, ongoing process that continues to attack the brain into old age, or the result of the transplants themselves.
But they agree that their studies, published in the journal Nature Medicine, demonstrate the benefits of the sometimes controversial brain cell transplants.
"I think these findings lend much optimism to future work," said Dr. Ole Isacson of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts, who worked on one of the studies.