Parkinson’s disease (PD), a chronic neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized as a movement disorder with resting tremor, dyskinesia, gait disturbance, etc. The main pathology is based on the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the midbrain. These motor symptoms can be treated by dopaminergic drugs, but over time, the drug’s effect has less efficacy, and side effects develop such as involuntary movements. As there is no gold standard long-term treatment for this condition, there is a strong need to develop new drugs and therapies. The clinical and experimental findings of successful intrastriatal transplantation of fetal mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons into the brains of patients with PD have been well established. The development of human stem cell technology including embryonic stem (ES) cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells opened a new field called clinical cell therapy, especially for PD. In this chapter, we cover the scientific progress of the clinical and experimental trials of cell therapy for patients with PD. It also contains the recent advances in the clinical application of stem cells including neural stem cells, mesencephalic stem cell, ESC, and iPS cells and unsolved problems in the clinical setting. The combination of gene therapy and gene-manipulated stem cell application in PD therapy will be the most discussed in this area.
Part of the book: Challenges in Parkinson's Disease