Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive brain disorder that affects motor skills, which worsen as the disease advances. It is thought that in the early stages of the disease the brain begins to reduce the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The reduced amount of dopamine results in trembling in the hands, arms, legs, and jaw. There is also stiffness of the limbs, slowness of movement, and impaired balance and coordination.
Roy A. E. Bakay, MD, neurosurgeon, Rush University Medical Center, used a novel approach to treat Parkinson’s disease consisting of Spheramineretinal (pigment epithelial (RPE) cells attached to tiny gelatin bead microcarriers implanted in the brain).
Six patients with moderate to advanced Parkinson’s disease were given Spheramine implants. All participants were monitored for at least 4 years and up to 6 years. Researchers report the subjects showed long-term improvement or stabilization of their symptoms for a minimum of 2 years after the Spheramine implantation. No serious Spheramine related adverse effects were reported. (Headaches were reported for 1 or 2 weeks after surgery.)