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Monkey stem cells may lead to Parkinson's treatment.

Japanese scientists reported they have successfully coaxed monkey embryonic cells into forming dopamine-producing cells, a brain chemical involved in movement that is depleted in Parkinson's disease.

Previously, Yoshiki Sasai, PhD and colleagues from Kyoto University had used their technique, called stromal cell-derived inducing activity (SDIA), to get stem cells of mice to differentiate into dopamine-producing neurons. Next, the team plans to transplant SDIA-derived neurons into the brains of monkeys.

Sasai said the SDIA technique offers "a practical alternative" to controversial fetal tissue transplants that occasionally are used to treat Parkinson's. And he noted in the February 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that the benefits of the research may not be limited to that disease. An unexpected outcome of the work was that the researchers were able to make pigmented epithelium, a tissue that forms the outermost layer of the retina. This tissue, according to Sasai, might be used to treat retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that leads to blindness.
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Title Annotation:according to research from Kyoto University
Comment:Monkey stem cells may lead to Parkinson's treatment.(according to research from Kyoto University)
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 14, 2002
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