Sep 222013


Scientists believe they could be on the cusp of a medical breakthrough which could bring hope to thousands of Parkinson’s sufferers.

They’ve injected brain cells from pigs into humans in a world-first clinical trial, which they believe could reverse or even halt Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s patients are depending on the pigs.

Brain cells are being taken from the Auckland Island animals by Living Cell Technologies’ managing director Dr Andrea Grant, who believes they could hold the key to curing the disease.

“We’ve been able to show that in various disease models if we put these cells in into damaged tissue, they cause that tissue to regenerate,” Dr Grant says.

The technology has already proven successful in animals and this week Living Cell Technologies trialled it on a human for the first time.

“We actually drill a very small bore hole into the brain and a catheter is put down there and the cells are injected down through the catheter,” Dr Grant explains.

The cells are implanted into the damaged part of the brain. The hope is that they will cause dying human cells to grow back.

Something which leading neurologist Dr Barry Snow who specialises in Parkinson’s truly understands the importance of.

“Parkinson’s is a really difficult disease to have. I look after a lot of people with Parkinson’s and I’m very aware they need and want a better way to treat the disease,” Dr Snow says.

Already the signs are looking promising.

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