Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative condition that attacks the nervous system and affects movements. The symptoms of Parkinson’s typically begin with minor tremors of the extremities and gradually get more severe. There are medications to help manage PD symptoms, but there is currently no cure.
Stem cell therapy may offer a natural alternative to symptom management for patients to explore and see if they may be a candidate for it.
The Cause and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s can occur when the brain cannot produce normal levels of dopamine due to the deterioration of certain nerve cells. Dopamine is a chemical that acts as a brain messenger to control involuntary and voluntary movements.
Without the connection dopamine provides, the brain loses control over the body’s movements. The cause of nerve cell deterioration is still unknown. However, scientists believe that genetic and environmental factors may both play a role in nerve cell loss.
The symptoms of PD vary significantly in type and severity. The condition can often go unnoticed until it is somewhat advanced because early symptoms can be very mild. Once Parkinson’s Disease has progressed, the following symptoms are expected to arise:
- Difficulty speaking and writing
- Slowed movement
- Muscle stiffness
- Tremors, shaking—sometimes severe
- Loss of automatic movements such as blinking or smiling
- Rigid muscles
- Poor balance
- Changes in walking gait
As the condition progresses, the patient may become unable to care for themselves. Up to one-third of all people affected by Parkinson’s Disease also experience a type of dementia different from Alzheimer’s disease but adds to the struggle they and their care providers face.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help with Parkinson’s Disease?
Stem cells create the cells that help create everything in our bodies, including our muscles and our blood. They can be thought of as a blank canvas waiting to become whatever the body needs. Stem cells are naturally designed to replicate whatever type of cell is needed. In this way, they provide a potentially unlimited source of crucial dopaminergic neurons.
In the case of Parkinson’s Disease, stem cell therapy can replicate the nerve cells needed to restore healthy levels of dopamine production. Once implanted, the stem cells duplicate themselves over time.
Studies on stem cell therapy for PD have shown improvement in symptoms for some patients, allowing some to reduce the number of PD medications they require. Stem cell therapy is not a cure, but a management tool many can consider as an option. It is not a solution for everyone, but the regenerative potential of stem cell therapy may help some patients improve their quality of life.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.