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The promises of stem cells: stem cell therapy for movement disorders.

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      Despite the multitude of intensive research, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms underlying movement disorders including Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy and Huntington's disease remain more or less elusive. Treatments to halt these disease progressions are currently unavailable. With the recent induced pluripotent stem cells breakthrough and accomplishment, stem cell research, as the vast majority of scientists agree, holds great promise for relieving and treating debilitating movement disorders. As stem cells are the precursors of all cells in the human body, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern how they develop and work would provide us many fundamental insights into human biology of health and disease. Moreover, stem-cell-derived neurons may be a renewable source of replacement cells for damaged neurons in movement disorders. While stem cells show potential for regenerative medicine, their use as tools for research and drug testing is thought to have more immediate impact. The use of stem-cell-based drug screening technology could be a big boost in drug discovery for these movement disorders. Particular attention should also be given to the involvement of neural stem cells in adult neurogenesis so as to encourage its development as a therapeutic option.

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      [1 ] Department of Neurology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan. Electronic address:
      Parkinsonism Relat. Disord.
      Parkinsonism & related disorders
      Jan 2014
      : 20 Suppl 1
      Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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