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Japan team transplants stem cells into brain to treat Parkinson's

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Japanese researchers said Friday they have transplanted into the brain of a patient in the first stage of an innovative trial to cure

The research team at injected induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells -- which have the potential to develop into any cell in the body -- into the brain of a male patient in his fifties, the university said in a press release.

The man was stable after the operation, which was performed last month, and he will now be monitored for two years, the university added.

The researchers injected 2.4 million iPS cells into the left side of the patient's brain, in an operation that took about three hours.

If no problems are observed in the coming six months, they will implant another 2.4 million cells into the right side.

The iPS cells from healthy donors have been developed into the precursors of dopamine-producing brain cells, which are no longer present in people with

The operation came after the university announced in July they would carry out the trial with seven participants aged between 50 and 69.

It is the first involving implanting into the brain to cure

"I appreciate the patients for participating in the trial with courage and determination," told reporters on Friday, according to public broadcaster

is a chronic, that affects the body's motor system, often causing shaking and other difficulties in movement.

Worldwide, about 10 million people have the illness, according to the Parkinson's

Currently available therapies "improve symptoms without slowing or halting the disease progression," the foundation says.

The human trial comes after an earlier trial involving monkeys.

Researchers announced last year that primates with Parkinson's symptoms regained significant mobility after iPS cells were inserted into their brains.

They also confirmed that the iPS cells had not transformed into during the two years after the implant.

iPS cells are created by stimulating mature, already specialised, cells back into a juvenile state -- basically without the need for an embryo.

The cells can be transformed into a range of different types of cells, and their use is a key sector of medical research.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 12:05 IST
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