Current state of stem cell research for the treatment of Parkinson's disease

M Gerlach, H Braak, A Hartmann, W H Jost, P Odin, J Priller, J Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Current findings suggest that multipotent stem cells may be suitable for cell replacement therapies in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells isolated from the inner cell mass of the preimplantation blastocyst, which give rise to all cells in the organism. Similarly, multipotent stem cells are also able to regenerate, but are believed to have a more restricted potential than ES cells, and are often defined by the organ from which they are derived. Neural stem cells have been categorized as multipotent stem cells derived from the nervous system with the capacity to regenerate and to give rise to cells belonging to all three cell lineages in the nervous system: neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. It is hoped that research on stem cells may reveal methods for producing an infinite supply of dopamine neurons for transplant into Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The problem is controlling cell growth and differentiation. We will briefly review the current state of stem cell research and will critically discuss the potential of stem cells for the treatment of PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)III/33-5
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume249 Suppl 3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


  • Brain Tissue Transplantation
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Dopamine
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stem Cells
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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