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Parkinsonís Specialists Warn Patients against Stem Cell Treatments outside of Well-Known Centers

Recently, the Movement Disorder Society, a professional organization of doctors who specialize in treating Parkinson's and similar diseases, warned people with Parkinson's against receiving stem cell treatments performed outside of a recognized academic or clinical setting. This warning came as part of a review from the MDS Scientific Issues Committee.

Many scientists are studying stem cells to better understand Parkinson's disease, and to find ways of treating it. Recent advances include a PDF-funded team of scientists that transformed skin cells of monkeys first into stem cells, and then into neuron-like cells.

While the hope is that one day, stem cells could be used to replace neurons lost in Parkinson's disease, there is not yet a proven stem cell therapy approved for use in the US. In fact, there are many scientific hurdles to cross before real treatments become available. Despite the lack of scientific proof about use of stem cells right now, therapies are being offered by companies and individuals.

To answer your questions about these warnings, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) asked Christopher Goetz, M.D., Chair of PDF's Medical Policy Committee, member of PDF's Scientific Advisory Board, and Officer of the Movement Disorder Society to weigh in.

Dr. Goetz commented, "The Movement Disorder Society encourages scientifically rigorous research efforts in the area of stem cell research for Parkinson's disease and related disorders.

This statement was generated by MDS to help people with Parkinson's, neurologists, neuroscientists, advocacy groups and governmental bodies to distinguish between the important research efforts in the field that are scientifically well-founded, and a disturbing group of isolated stem cell programs that operate without scientific justification or safety monitoring.

Drawing this distinction is essential. We do not want the advances in this field to be slowed down by accusations against the field of stem cell research itself."

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Do you have more questions about stem cell treatments for Parkinson's? Contact us at (800) 457-6676 or

Source Date: Sep 06 2013