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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Parkinson’s Disease is a condition that disrupts the lives the many people. The disease is characterized by a loss of dopamine producing neurons in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra of the ventral midbrain, and symptoms include a lack of motor control and rigidity in motion. Currently, there are many treatments available to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, each treatment involves many adverse side effects that most wish to avoid. Science is discovering possible innovative, alternative options to treat Parkinson’s disease such as the transplantation of healthy dopaminergic neurons directly into the striatum of the patient. Methods include using stem cells from original fetal sources, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent cells, or directly converting somatic cells into dopaminergic neurons. This study explores each possible treatment method along with the risks and advantages associated with each one, citing original experimental data and significant review articles. The results of this study do suggest potential in this new area of treatment for Parkinson’s disease, yet much perfection of techniques and additional research must be completed before this idea can be used as a standardized treatment plan.

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