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Breakthrough Research Shows Adult Stem Cells May Restore Sense of Smell for Parkinson’s Disease

October 24, 2018

Parkinsons - Disease - Smell - Stem - Cell

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder of the brain. Symptoms include tremors, stiffness or rigidity, and slowness of movement. Approximately 1 percent of people over the age of 60 have the condition. There is no cure, so treatment will normally focus on managing symptoms, typically with medication.

Loss of the sense of smell is an often overlooked but remarkably a prevalent early symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. A complete loss of smell or a diminished sense of smell often precedes the usual motor symptoms of this neurodegenerative disease by several years, and has a prevalence of 90 percent in early-stage patients.

Researchers at the Michael J. Fox Foundation noted, “Early detection is a crucial step to understanding the causes of and developing better treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. Even before the typical tremor and slowness of movements occur in Parkinson’s Disease, it may be possible to detect early changes in the brain and symptoms that are associated with Parkinson’s Disease. For example, loss of sense of smell is a common but little noticed symptom that may occur years before the onset of motor symptoms or a Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.”

The loss of sense of smell – whether as a result of aging, medication, illness or injury – affects sense of taste; when the sense of smell is intact, it combines with the sense of taste to communicate the flavor of food. Smell loss in people with Parkinson’s further reduces quality of life and compromises nutritional status.

New cutting-edge research conducted at Tufts University provided the first evidence that it is possible to regenerate stem cells of the nasal tissue in mice, a potential breakthrough giving Parkinson’s patients hope to restore their sense of smell.

Stem cells are undifferentiated, or unspecialized; they are highly potent and able to generate many different types of cells. Adult stem cells are responsible for maintaining the structure of the tissue in which they are found and repairing it after injury. There is evidence that adult stem cells may be able to regenerate in response to injury to tissue as part of a natural healing process.

StemGenex Stem Cell Research Centre is referring to the above content merely to share important information relating to stem cell therapies. The information is not endorsed by StemGenex Stem Cell Research Centre and should not be construed as statements made by it. Original content was published on 12/4/2017 and can be viewed here.

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