Dr. Xianmin Zeng, associate professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging answers your questions about Parkinson's disease and stem cell research. Zeng has a CIRM research grant to develop a stem cell treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, which leads to tremors, slowness in movement, impaired balance, and stiffness. There is no cure for Parkinson's. And although drugs can help reduce symptoms, they eventually lose their effectiveness. Zeng has developed methods for transforming those stem cells into dopamine-producing nerve cells, the same cells that are lost in Parkinson's disease. The hope is that by transplanting these cells into the brain, they will replace the lost cells and restore function in the brain.
For more information about CIRM-funded stem cell research related to Parkinson's research, see our disease fact sheet