Scientists are using stem cells from Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients to see if already-discovered drugs might be useful in treating symptoms of the disease. Another approach involves creating functional brain cells in the lab, with the hope that they might replace the cells that are damaged in PD. It’s possible that one day, cells could be transplanted into the brain of Parkinson’s patients to treat the disease.
Scientists are turning human embryonic stem cells into special cells called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells that have been shown to support the health of the nerves in spinal cord injury. These cells can then be transplanted into the damaged spinal cord of patients and potentially support the health and restore function to the damaged nerves.
Scientists are using stem cells to support and restore the light-sensing cells in the eye that degenerate and die in retinitis pigmentosa (RP). These fresh cells can be implanted into the back of the eye to see if this will help slow the vision loss caused by RP.