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Parkinsons NZ excited about success of living cell research

Parkinsons New Zealand excited about success of living cell research trial.

18 June 2015

Parkinsons New Zealand is excited about the results of Living Cell Technologies’ (LCT) trial involving NZ pig cells in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

New Zealand based Biotechnology Company LCT reported positive safety results in the four New Zealand patients who took part in the trial.

Dr Barry Snow, a neurologist at Auckland City Hospital who leads the research, presented the results at the 19th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease in San Diego on Wednesday, 17 June.

“Parkinson’s New Zealand has been keenly watching this ground breaking research and we are excited about the hope these results will bring to the 10,000 Kiwis living with Parkinson’s, “says Stephanie Clare, Parkinson’s New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive and Clinical Leader.

Dr Snow and LCT are calling NT cell therapy a success. The therapy involves implanting capsules of cells from pigs into the brains of people with well-established Parkinson’s who are experiencing a lot of problems with traditional therapy. This treatment aims to slow or stop the loss of dopamine by transplanting cells that release growth factors.

“A diagnosis of Parkinson’s can be overwhelming and we don’t want anyone to face Parkinson’s alone,” says Stephanie. “Right now somewhere in New Zealand someone is being told they have Parkinson’s and I want to make sure they know our Community Educators and Parkinson’s New Zealand will be there to support them, provide information, referrals and exercise and support groups to help them live well with Parkinson’s.”

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. It is caused by insufficient quantities of dopamine - a chemical in the brain. Dopamine enables quick, well-coordinated movement. When dopamine levels fall, movements become slow and awkward. Parkinson’s has both motor and non-motor symptoms, and while it cannot be cured it can be treated.


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