The autopsy of a patient with Parkinson's who received a dopamine transplant 14 years ago revealed that dopamine cells transplanted into the brain had developed pathologic changes characteristic of the disease. "Dopamine cells are transplanted into the brain of Parkinson's patients in the hope that they can replace those that degenerate and thereby improve symptoms of the disease, " said Dr. C Warren Olanow, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Neurology and Director of the Robert and John M. Bendheim Parkinson's Disease Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "This study shows that implanted cells can become affected by the disease process and thereby limits the long term utility of the approach."
Dr. Olanow went on to say, "These findings do not mean that transplant strategies such as stem cells can not be made to work. Our findings just represent another obstacle that will have to be overcome."
Parkinson's is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills to an increasing degree over time.
Read the complete Mount Sinai School of Medicine announcement here.