Stem cell therapy a boon to Parkinson’s patients

Posted: February 27, 2015 at 7:45 am

Bengaluru:Feb 27, 2015, DHNS

Two courses of stem cell therapy have helped Ashok Kumar, 59, who suffered from tremors and rigidity due to Parkinsons disease, recover completely, much to the joy of his family. The man was brought inside my cabin in a wheelchair. He was unable to even sit on the chair without support. Today, he walks independently. Stem cell therapy has made it possible for him, said Dr Naseem Sadiq, Director, Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, who began treating Kumar in October, last year.

Previously, medication and surgical procedure were the only treatment option for Parkinsons disease. Medication in the long-term often lacks effectiveness and may cause side effects, while surgery is not always feasible. Lately, stem cell therapy has turned out to be a boon for patients with Parkinsons, Dr Sadiq said.

Kumar is among the few who have benefited from stem cell therapy. However, though the State has been reporting an increase in the number of registered stem cell donors, it is far behind sufficient as the genetic match between donor and recipient could be anywhere between one in 10,000 and one in two million, according to experts.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Raghu Rajgopal, co-founder, Datri, a registry for stem cell donation, said, The response we get from Karnataka when we conduct stem cell camps is great. We see a lot of people and registering with us.

As many as 6,000 people have registered from the State under the Datri registry. A total of 72,000 people have registered across the country. In Kerala, 11,000 have signed up, the highest so far, he said.

Among the common myths are that by donating stem cells one turns infertile and weak, have increased chances of cancer and also that there would be excess loss of blood, he said.

According to studies, over one lakh people are diagnosed with Leukemia (blood cancer) and other blood disorders every year in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research has predicted that by the end of 2015, Leukemia cases will reach an estimated 1,17,649 and 1,32,574 by 2020. Stem cell therapy is a widely used treatment mechanism for Leukemia.

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Stem cell therapy a boon to Parkinson's patients

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