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Potential cellular and regenerative approaches for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

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Emma L Lane, Olivia J Handley, Anne E Rosser, Stephen B DunnettBrain Repair Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, CF10 3US, UKAbstract: Parkinson’s disease is most commonly treated with a range of pharmacotherapeutics, with the more recent introduction of surgical techniques including deep-brain stimulation. These have limited capabilities to improve symptoms of the disease in more advanced stages, thus new therapeutic strategies including the use of viral vectors and stem cells are in development. Providing a continuous supply of dopamine to the striatum in an attempt to improve the treatment of motor symptoms using enzymes in the dopamine synthesis and machinery is one approach. Alternatively, there are tools which may serve to both protect and encourage outgrowth of surviving neurons using growth factors or to directly replace lost innervation by transplantation of primary tissue or stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons. We summarize some of the potential therapeutic approaches and also consider the recent EU directives on practical aspects of handling viral vectors, cells and tissues, and in the running of clinical trials in Europe which impact on their development.Keywords: transplantation, viral vector, stem cells, ethics, European Union directive

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